MIAMI, Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ — Maria de la Luz Huizar sits in the library waiting for the start of her monthly faculty meeting at Lamar Elementary School in San Antonio, Texas; unknowingly she will be surprised by family members, dear friends and the Grand Prize in the Baby Abuelita national contest, Sing Abuelita Sing.
As she thanks everyone, overjoyed family members and teachers chant “sing, sing, sing,” and Maria and her brother fill the library with a romantic Spanish ballad. As tears fill the eyes of onlookers, it becomes apparent that this teacher beats to a different drum, bringing an appreciation for music to the lives that she has touched and inspiring creativity.
“It was very hard to keep everything a surprise,” said Principal Janet Mansmann. “Maria brings music into the lives of her students every day, and her ability to teach children has resonated in the hearts of many for the past 35 years.”
Maria submitted her recording of “La Estrellita” to the Baby Abuelita Sing Abuelita Sing national contest, never assuming she would be picked. “My mother has never been one to bring attention to herself, and her entire life has been dedicated to the ones she loves and the people in her life,” said Maria’s daughter, Mireya Huizar. “I never thought my entry would be accepted. I said, ‘well, I’m going to send it in and see what happens,'” said Maria. “Music is a part of my life, and I am very proud to be able to share my love for music with my students.” In addition to sharing music with students for 35 years, Maria sings in her church choir, where her son-in-law is the choir maestro.
In an effort to preserve the Hispanic Heritage, Baby Abuelita hosted a national contest seeking the best recorded cancion de cuna and the spitting image of the Baby Abuelita characters. Entries were submitted in digital and hard-copy format from across the U.S. Baby Abuelita awarded Maria the Grand Prize, consisting of the family of five Baby Abuelita dolls, the Baby Abuelita Family Fiesta DVD, two Baby Abuelita Sing-Along books, a certificate for the purchase of Baby Abuelita slippers, as well as a camcorder and tripod to capture and preserve special moments, and an assortment of Scholastic Spanish books. Second and third place winners and runners-up received an assortment of Baby Abuelita products.
Founded in 2005, Baby Abuelita Productions was created by a pair of working mothers: Hilda Argilagos-Jimenez, a dance teacher, and Carol Fenster, a psychotherapist. “We wanted to create a doll that preserved tradition and warm memories,” said Fenster. “But our dolls have managed to do that and more. We get emails from teachers and parents who are using these dolls to educate their children and teach them Spanish, which is a wonderful thing.”
Baby Abuelita received the iParenting Award for the Family Fiesta DVD and Abuelita Rosa, Abuelito Pancho, Baby Andrea and Baby Tita dolls. The company was awarded the 2008 Toy of the Year and Preferred Choice Award by Creative Child’s Awards Program for Abuelita Rosa and Abuelito Pancho. Baby Abuelita launched their product line in Panama and Baby Mimi is their latest addition to the Baby Abuelita family.
Baby Abuelita is available at select Wal-Mart, Target, Toys R Us and Kmart locations and online at www.babyabuelita.com.
SOURCE Baby Abuelita