February is Parent Recognition Month. Strengthening Families Washington, of the Department of Early Learning for Washington State, believes there is no better way to recognize a parent, grandparent, foster or adoptive parent than by acknowledging the numerous and impressive things they do to strengthen their family and those around them in their community.
Seattle’s Child is proud to sponsor the Washington Unsung Hero Awards, recognizing our everyday heroes and honoring the important role caregivers play in children’s lives. There are 28 nominees for the 28 days of February, and Seattle’s Child will highlight each and every one.
Congratulations to the Unsung Hero for February 16
Fartun Mohamud – Seattle
Fartun is a mother of five with a passion for supporting children and families. For 18 months Fartun has engaged Somali families in White Center with information, resources and social connections that help them support young children to be ready for success in school. Her work is changing community norms about child development, school readiness and parenting. Fartun worked with a mother who expressed stress, unhappiness, isolation and lack of connection with her young daughter. Fartun asked, “Tell me about your day. What do you do at home?” She learned that the child spent most of the day in front of the television, while the mother talked on the phone – maintaining her most supportive relationships with family abroad. Not judging or correcting, Fartun shared information about brain development, emphasizing the importance of relationships and experiences on young children’s growth and capacity to learn. The mother, an eager learner, commented, “I am not parenting the way I should!” Encouraged by Fartun she tried out the neighborhood Play & Learn group, where she met other families from her culture, observed other children and saw her daughter play with others. Fartun also shared information about the impact of screen time on healthy child development: The mother responded by canceling cable service! She now engages with her daughter, feels proud of her new learning and embraces her role as her child’s first teacher. Her daughter is gaining social, physical, cognitive and language skills that will prepare her to enter kindergarten ready to succeed.
Nominator: Paula Steinke
Singing the Praises of Our Unsung Heroes
Read about all of the wonderful, everyday heroes who have won Washington Unsung Hero Awards: seattleschild.com/2015-Unsung-Heroes.