Fulfilling a Dream
By Mac Bledsoe
Back in 1996, when we set out upon this journey to create our parenting
foundation, we developed our "wish-list" of what we most wanted to
accomplish. First, we wanted to create a videotape version of our
Parenting with Dignity program. We realized that objective during
our first year! Then we wanted to create a Parent's Workbook and
we did that soon afterwards. We needed a website and an amazing
man, Tom Heatherington who had been in the Internet industry in Dallas, stepped up and volunteered to make that
happen! He did a beautiful job and has remained our website guru
for the past seven years.
The desire to write a book was another item on that long list of good
intentions, and that came about less than one year ago. Our book,
Parenting With Dignity, is about to undergo its second printing. Although we have accomplished many of
the items on our original "wish-list" (and we've seen that list grow),
today we achieved one of our most ambitious dreams - to offer our
curriculum in Spanish!
We launched our foundation while we were living in the great community
of Yakima, Washington, where Barbara and I had taught school for five
years. We were living and teaching in a valley where almost half of the population was
of Mexican descent. We were presenting our curriculum to the
parents of the kids we taught in school, and felt totally hamstrung
because many of the children in class had parents who did not speak
English! We went as far as to hire translators and use headphones,
and it was really cumbersome and awkward.
When we developed our original videos we thought it would be a simple
thing to add a Spanish translation to videotape. We could not have been
more wrong. This was an incredibly complicated and very expensive
procedure. A year and a half ago we were struck by the
lightning of luck when one of the most generous men we've met, Emilio
Gallegos, the Assistant Principal of a school in Moreno Valley,
California, contacted me to ask if we would like to offer our curriculum
with a Spanish translation. I began to enumerate all of the
problems we had encountered in trying to do this arduous task when
Emillo interrupted me and said very simply, "I can do it!"
I was speechless. He embarked upon this momentous task and it took
a year of his hard and dedicated work to make this a reality… but
he has completed it! We are alive in Spanish! First, he had to translate the words. Then he
had to practice to make his speech patters fit the actions and intonation of the
delivery on our tapes. It sometimes took three and four
retakes to get it just right. As a matter of fact, Emilio redid the first
two hours completely after he began to get a feel of the process
with the later tapes.
It is such a satisfying thing to see a man like Emillo who, rather that
sitting back and asking us to create what he needed for the parents in
his community, was willing to step up and complete the necessary work.
We take great pride in the fact that ours is a grassroots endeavor but
Emilio's zeal takes it to a new level!
This wonderful story does not end there. The next step was to get the
translation recorded onto our master tapes. Steve Campbell, owner of
Breakout Productions in Yakima, WA and the producer
of our original videos, took on that task and was able to match
Emillio's translation to the original sound tracks. He created the
masters that were then used to generate our entire video curriculum on
the much-advanced DVD format. The finished product is a wonderful
educational tool. When you get your DVD copy of our curriculum you not
only have the choice to listen to the soundtrack in English or Spanish,
and you also have instant accessibility to any topic in any class
session by selecting it from the menu.
The good news is that our Parenting with Dignity curriculum is available
now on DVD.