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Shakira to Launch New App for Early Childhood Educators

Photograph by Getty Images

Shakira, mom to 2-year-old Milan and 8-month-old Sasha, wears many hats. The singer, mom and philanthropist launched a line of toys with Fisher-Price last year and addressed the United Nations last week to promote early childhood development programs. Now, she's helped develop an app called Grow, which aims to help teachers and other early childhood educators with 2,000 tips. The app will be available for download later this fall.

"I've been an advocate for education long before I became a mother, so imagine how I feel now," the singer said in an interview. "I've been focusing on education for other kids and now that I'm a mother, my kids' education is such an important topic of conversation, such an important thing in my life."

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Shakira and Fisher-Price also shared the findings of the Moms' Hopes & Wishes Study of 3,500 new moms and moms-to-be, which measured parental attitudes and approaches to early childhood development.

"Sometimes when we buy a toy for our kids, it's not that we are spoiling them," Shakira said. "A toy is not frivolous, superfluous thing. A toy is such an important tool for a kid to develop his senses, sight, touch, auditory senses, coordination, motor skills, fine and gross motor skills."

"A child's most primary obligation is to play and to discover the world around him and to know how the world works, and sometimes a toy plays a significant role in that."

Shakira launched the FundaciĆ³n Pies Descalzos (Barefoot Foundation) in 1997 at age 18, and has since gone on to become a well-known advocate for children's rights such as education, nutrition and health. She has previously teamed up with the World Food Programme to fight world hunger, and is currently a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Proceeds from her "First Steps" collection of toys and baby gear benefit her foundation.

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