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Search The Fig Tree's stories of people who make a difference:

ECEAP teacher teaches children what they need to do to be successful

Talibah Adeeba, lead teacher for the Extended-day Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) for three years at the Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center, kept children in her class inside the day a racial slur was painted on the house beside the playground.

Talibah Adeeba reads a story to Haya Alsulimaneen during recent open house at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center.

She wanted them to feel safe even though she felt disheartened.

“We need to stick together and stand together,” she said.  “The center is an important part of the community.  We have a waiting list, because there is more demand than we have room to serve.

“Children are my life.  I want them to be prepared to be good citizens and to feel good about themselves, rather than feel bad because they are black, white, mixed or other races,” said Talibah, who grew up in Boston with a Portuguese mother and African-American father.

Her challenging childhood, she believes, helps her deal with children like herself, so they respect themselves and others.

Talibah finds that her 30 years of teaching experience are reinforced in her two years of studies in education at Spokane Falls Community College. She plans to complete a degree at Whitworth.

Her years of teaching include home schooling her three children and running a preschool in her home in Seattle.  She also taught two years in rural areas in Botswana and Kenya.

“Martin Luther King Jr. was about all people.  He is my hero forever.  The home preschool I ran for eight years in Seattle was called King’s Dream,” she said.

Talibah was first hired to teach in the Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center’s half-day program from 1995 to 2000.

“I have learned to be a compassionate teacher here at the MLK Center,” Talibah said.  “We teach children what they need to do to be successful.”

She chose her name her third year celebrating Kwanzaa in 1980 in Seattle.  “Talibah” means seeker of knowledge in Swahili.  “Adeeba” means literary woman.

For information, call 455-8722 or visit mlkspokane.org.




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