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Madres Unidas

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women gathering in library patio with children

SBPL's programs aren't solely crafted by library staff—they're born from collaboration with our community.

One such unique initiative caters specifically to Spanish-speaking caregivers, and grew out of discussions at our Eastside Library's Stay and Play sessions. As children played, learned, and listened to stories, parents bonded over shared experiences, leading to the inception of Madres Unidas—a monthly conversation circle for Spanish-speaking parents. When parents shared the need for more opportunities to get support and discuss questions about raising children, Library staff found few opportunities for such groups led by Spanish-speakers, and so we created our own.  

Madres Unidas is facilitated by professionals from the local mental wellness nonprofit AHA!. This circle provides a space where parents openly discuss their hopes, dreams, challenges, and successes. The "Madres unidas" program stands as a testament to the power of community, empathy, and support. It has provided a haven for Spanish-speaking caregivers, fostering connection, resilience, and personal growth. Mersy, SBPL's community support specialist from Family Service Agency, is also on hand to answer questions about accessing any other community resources. These monthly sessions have been transformative in the lives of many attendees.

During one session, a grandmother opened up about the deep sense of loneliness she experiences since her children grew up and moved on with their own lives. She expressed her reluctance to share these feelings with them, fearing it might distance them further. However, she found solace in this program that allowed her to be candid and authentic, providing her the space to voice her frustrations without pushing her loved ones away. In this safe environment, she felt empowered to share her wisdom and experiences with others, finding a sense of connection and understanding in the midst of her emotions. In addition; a mother shared the complexities of raising her daughter within a multicultural household—her husband being American and she, Latina. These discussions delved into navigating differing parenting styles, offering strategies and support. These are just two of the many incredible and heartwarming stories that our Madres Unidas participants shared. The mutual exchange was so impactful that attendees expressed their eagerness to return, recognizing these meetings as invaluable spaces for connection and mutual understanding.

Libraries support learning and connection -- whether that knowledge comes from reading books, finding a professional, or having conversations with other people facing the same challenges who share the same hopes for a vibrant, healthy community where they can raise their families.

Madres Unidas meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 10:15 am at Eastside Library.