About Us

Our Story

Founded by Jackie Friedman-Mighdoll, Sponge was the first language program of its kind on the west coast. We opened our doors in Seattle’s Mt. Baker Neighborhood in the Fall of 2005 by offering a few classes taught by a very passionate group of teachers to some very young students. As we celebrate our 13th anniversary, we are proud to offer Spanish, Chinese, French, Japanese, and German language classes for kids throughout the Greater Seattle area and the Eastside, in our centers as well as numerous elementary schools and preschools.

While Sponge’s offerings have expanded significantly since it’s founding and there’s a new owner-management team at the helm as of this summer, our focus on bringing an immersive and fun language learning experience to kids – delivered by passionate and well trained native language teachers – hasn’t changed.

We continue to be inspired and guided by our founder Jackie’s original mission to raise globally-minded children and look forward to welcoming you and your family to one of our classes soon!

Khawar & Heike

A note from sponge's founder

My parents have often wondered how language and culture and travel became so important to me.  I tell them that the “Kids Around the World” bedspread I had as a little girl seeped into my dreams, and we laugh.  But I think there’s some truth to this.  The things we are exposed to as young children help shape who we become as adults.

When I was pregnant with my first son, I read Dr. Lise Eliot’s wonderful book What’s Going on in There? : How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life  And, in the process discovered the amazing work on second language acquisition being done by Dr. Pat Kuhl at the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences which you can now see in her TED talk.

I knew how important it was to me to raise globally-minded children, and it became even clearer that starting young was the right time.  After 18 months of research, with the support of local parents and with a core group of passionate teachers, I opened Sponge in the fall of 2005.  It was the first language programs of its kind on the west coast.

Our teacher group has grown over the years, but it remains a dynamic and diverse group.  We learn from each other–both skills and language and culture.  The families in our community have also expanded and grown, taking us along with them.  The babies who started classes when Sponge was born are now elementary school students.  We offer language classes at elementary schools, too, to help them and their friends continue on this journey.  And, we continue to support their families and the greater Seattle community through cultural days, educational events, donations and scholarships.

We hope that you’ll join us on this rewarding journey.