Jessica Alba attended the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City on Thursday to promote global education for all children, and told PEOPLE she also relentlessly promotes education at home with 15-month-old daughter Honor Marie.
“I am a mother who shoves information down her throat, poor thing,” the currently blond actress said with a laugh. “I sing her songs about colors in Spanish and English when I’m cooking. Literally I integrate learning into everything I do. We’re into colors because I feel that’s something a 15-month-old can sort of identify. So now she kind of points to blue and says ‘azul’ and I say ‘Yes, azul, muy bien!’ It’s slow going but she’s sort of picking it up.”
The Fantastic Four actress proudly says her little girl is bilingual already — almost. “She says gato for cat. Pato for duck, but dog is dog,” Jessica says. “She doesn’t say perro. She kind of flips back and forth. She’s very silly. She growls like a lion whenever I say leon.”
Jessica announced that she will be the United States co-chair of 1GOAL, the new campaign to make education for all children the legacy of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The actress says as a mother “everything becomes more important,” particularly education, which is why she is particularly dedicated to the non-profit. “It’s a human right, I believe, to have the opportunity to have an education and it’s unacceptable that 75 million children on this planet don’t have a chance to have one.”
She hopes to bring her daughter to Africa for the first time early next year. “I’m actually really excited about going to Africa for the first time with my daughter and exposing her to a completely different culture and having her learn through life experiences,” Jessica explained. “That’s one thing she’s going to get that not a lot of children have the luxury of having: traveling and being exposed to world issues and cultures and food. I can’t wait.”
Jessica adds that she’s excited 1GOAL is affiliated with the World Cup because she is a soccer fan. “I played soccer when I was a kid and so did my husband,” she says. “The wonderful thing about the 1GOAL campaign being tied into the World Cup is it’s the one time in the world when everyone puts down their differences, puts down their weapons, and roots for a team.”
– Kathy Ehrich Dowd