Brea siblings turn virtual language lessons into a charitable business

What started as a weekly game of “Go Fish” with grandma has turned into a charitable business for a brother-sister duo from Brea.

Aria and Aarav Pal, siblings from Olinda Elementary in the Brea Olinda Unified School District, recently started a business to teach children their native language of Hindi. Originally intended to provide them with some extra spending money, the young entrepreneurs have donated over $1,000 to a charity called RISE — short for Rural India School Enterprise — which is focused on educating kids in rural India who have no access to schooling.

Aria Pal teaching Hindi to students
First-grader Aria Pal provides Hindi lessons via Zoom to children across the United States.

The business officially started in November when their mother, Reena Pal, posted a video on her Facebook page of Aria playing a version of “Go Fish” in Hindi with her grandma.

“I thought it was a cute video, so I posted it to my social media and started receiving responses that friends were showing the video to their kids to pick up some words in Hindi,” said Pal.

Aria, 6, began teaching Hindi to four children ages 3 through 6 at the rate of $1 per class. But, as new requests for lessons started coming in from local families, she decided to enlist the help of her brother Aarav, 8.

“Teaching was kinda tricky at first,” Aarav said. “We took a lot of teaching formats from online classes we were attending and incorporated games such as scavenger hunts from our karate classes, stuffed animals from Aria’s dance classes, memory recall from my dad’s science classes and Kahoot from our school. We tried to combine those together with Hindi so it would be a lot more fun for the kids to learn the language.”

Since November, the siblings have taught a combined 80 classes and currently have 16 students enrolled in sessions that take place on Wednesdays and Sundays. Classes cost $25 per month and students attend for one hour a week. And, thanks to virtual technology, students attend from Texas, Connecticut, Massachusetts, California and even New Zealand.

Aria says the young business owners are looking to grow and expand their virtual lessons and hope to inspire more kids their age to learn a new language.

“I am thankful to my grandma for teaching us Hindi,” said Aria. “She taught us and now we are teaching others and able to help little girls in India so they can go to school and learn also. We’re like an education family!”

Families interested in learning more can visit the Kids Teach Kids Hindi Facebook page.