Seattle Foundation Blog

N2N Spotlight: Somali Parent Education Board

Growing up in a household where English was not my parents’ first language was difficult at times because they wanted to advocate for my education and become more involved, but had challenges navigating the education system.


December 14, 2017

By Elaine Chu, Philanthropic Advisor

Growing up in a household where English was not my parents’ first language was difficult at times because they wanted to advocate for my education and become more involved, but had challenges navigating the education system. This experience, common to so many recent immigrant families, is why organizations like Somali Parent Education Board (SPEB), can have a meaningful impact. SPEB recently received a Neighbor to Neighbor Fall 2017 grant.

SPEB, which is fiscally sponsored by East African Community Services, facilitates and supports parent leadership by actively closing the communication gap between parents and the education system. SPEB seeks to inspire Somali parents to become leaders and strong advocates for themselves and their children’s education by providing them with the resources and support they need. By partnering closely with community organizations in South King County and Highline Public Schools, SPEB works to lift up parent voices and ensure that there are culturally responsive methods of communication to connect families and share information.

SPEB also advocates for systems and policy changes including stronger community engagement, data analysis that uncovers their kids’ needs and professional development and training for school district staff to increase cultural awareness and interaction with parents.

They are designing a 3-year regional capacity building plan with communities, including a leadership institute to support Somali parents as education leaders who can ultimately advocate for systems and policy changes that benefit their children. They plan to identify ten emerging parent leaders in the White Center Somali community who will receive training and support to become core leaders who build relationships with the Highline school district and connect to additional Somali families.

For more information regarding this organization, please visit their website or contact Regina Elmi, co-founder, at speb2015@gmail.com.

 

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