The Children & Families Committee’s interests span pre-maternity education through birth, childhood development, early learning and the empowerment of parents.
Healthy childhood development begins before pregnancy with the health of the mother and the family into which the baby will be born. The Children & Family Committee’s interests span pre-maternity education, support for pregnant mothers and their partners, the health of the baby at birth, the development of the child from birth on, and the support and empowerment of parents as promoters of their child’s development.
Inequities and negative social determinants of health disrupt normal child development and can lead to poor adult health and social functioning. Mount Baker Foundation’s committees work collaboratively with the population served and with other community agencies and service providers to address the root causes of health disparities. Our approach is two- and three-generational and strives to support the strength, health and resiliency of the family.
For example, an early focus of this committee has been on the need for significantly more family-friendly childcare defined as early learning in the context of accessible full-day childcare so the parent(s) can work or attend school.
Mount Baker Foundation partners with local childcare providers to understand and support the needs of children and families in our community. These grants are intended to support, expand, and improve childcare facilities and curriculums in Whatcom County.
This grant supports the Perinatal Mental Health Program with the goal to increase self-awareness, self-regulation, and overall health of pregnant women that will lead to healthier lives and lifestyles for themselves, their families, and their children. These funds contributed to the production of the Mobile Mama Workbook, which contains strategies to support all mothers from pregnancy through their child’s first year of life.
Mount Baker Foundation strives to partner with organizations that empower parents and give them the tools and opportunities to live a healthy lifestyle for both themselves and their children. The Parent Leadership Training Institute is a free, 12 week leadership workshop for parents, guardians, community members or anyone working with families with the goal of increasing community engagement in civic matters, public education, and youth development.
This unique grant was to support the Lummi Nation School participate in a program where students created an experiment that would take place in micro-gravity aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Lummi high school students designed a total of 20 experiments and after a review of a educators at Northwest Indian College, one experiment created by 6 students was chosen to submit to the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education. These 6 students were able to travel to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and see their experiment launch into space in October of 2022. Check out the news story here!
Each school district in Whatcom County has a “Family Resource Center” that provides general support to families with lower income. Mount Baker Foundation provided a flexible fund of $20,000 to the 8 school districts with Family Resource Centers in Whatcom County, including Lummi K-12, to be used at the discretion of the Family Homeless Liaisons or the Family Services Coordinators.
During the pandemic, Whatcom County teens experienced a great deal of stress. MBF partnered with Whatcom Family Community Network to address teen suicide prevention and school engagement by supporting the MAD-HOPE (Making A Difference – Helping Other People Everywhere). This program provides young individuals with the courage and knowledge to address youth depression and suicide in our community. The training aims to reduce stigma, shatter myths, and empower individuals to support those dealing with suicidal ideation in our community.
MBF provided $100,000 for three years to expand the Communities in Schools program to Ferndale High Schools. This program provides individualized case-management and mentoring for 30-35 students to improve attendance, behavior, and course work.
We are interested in hearing from local experts, as well as those at the state, national or even global level.