WFSU Public Media partnered with their friends at the Early Learning Coalition of the Big Bend, Inc. to host the first ever PBS KIDS MOMcamp. The ELC and Whole Child Leon joined forces to plan the fifth annual Family First Initiative week in Tallahassee – a program started by former mayor Andrew Gillum to call attention to the needs of local children and families.
The ELC wanted to dedicate the entire first day of the week to moms. They planned a morning that featured talks by several mothers who have dealt with various difficulties in raising a child, including premature birth, fostering and adoption, single motherhood, and postpartum depression. The ELC has seen the amazing connections that come from the Edcamp process, by implementing it with early learning providers and directors, and thought it was a perfect way to spend the afternoon with a group of moms!
Unfortunately, of the ~150 registered, only around 30 joined us for the day, however, this small but mighty group really enjoyed creating their own afternoon of discussions about the many different experiences that come with being a mom. The amount of strength and knowledge that group of 30 brought to the room was incredible! We picked a selection of PBS KIDS moms across several generations of PBS programming to name the sessions and tables, which was a cute way to connect the afternoon back to WFSU. Discussion topics included Ages & Stages, School & Academic Resilience, Mom/Life Balance, Co-Parenting & Step-Parenting, and Medical & Special Services.
After the first session, most of the participants didn’t want to change topic. We broke for lunch and the vast majority of the moms returned to their first table to continue talking and touching on post-it note questions and comments that had been collected in the morning. We think that marks it a success, and speaks to their level of engagement!
As is the case in every Edcamp we get to be a part of, it’s a foolproof recipe for connecting across differences, finding your “tribe” and valuable advice, and feeling less alone in whatever it is you’re experiencing.
Next year, the ELC wants to host a DADcamp! So interesting to see what sorts of different conversations might be had when you put a bunch of fathers in a room together…