SHEEKO SHEEKO home visiting program

Roda Ahmed, B.S., Early Learning Programs Manager 

Sheeko Sheeko is a Somali cultural storytelling program that connects families with their roots and engages them with dialogic reading. In Sheeko Sheeko, the mother starts the exchange with her child by saying, “SheekoSheeko” (story, story). The child responds, “Sheeko Xariir” (what is the story?). The mother and child go back and forth and build a story made up of Somali rhymes. The program builds upon this existing cultural tradition to encourage mothers and family members to increase their child’s language exposure through singing lullabies and sharing stories. Sheeko, Sheeko program includes weekly home visits from practitioners, establishes a network of families, and hires staff culturally and linguistically matched to families. 

In June 2019, The Sheeko, Sheeko Xariir home visiting, was launched into the community. The program promotes maternal health to help the mother find a set schedule to get her children, reduces stress by having our monthly parents lead conversations that allow participants to share what is working for them and their de-stress methods. This program also monitors the progress of children’s development by providing parent advising, referrals, screenings, and guidance to navigate parenting.

Service Delivery

  • Home visiting is a method of service delivery. It is a way to offer support, guidance, information, and child development services directly to families in their homes—home visits and socialization activities designed to allow children to develop physically, socially, and emotionally.

    • Promote the Importance of early childhood literacy.
    • Promoting the parent-child relationship.
    • Provide guidance and support for child development, cultural understanding, and referral to culturally relevant services.

    Home visiting is unique because it offers families the opportunity to get the support they want in their own homes. Home visiting allows you to use the home environment to help parents create rich learning opportunities that build on everyday routines and support their child’s development.

Cognitive Development

  • Learning to solve problems and shape ideas, as well as discovering and exploring the immediate world. 
  • Developing self-esteem and personal adjustment skills  
  • Gaining self-confidence in relationships  


Parents will have opportunities to learn from each other about child development, gain leadership skills, and create a space whereby the learning approach and hoping this will increase the parent’s resiliency; this will occur every month throughout the program. Parents will challenge to take upon the leadership skills by leading some of our monthly discussions. Parents come together to develop leadership skills and leading different topics of what comes to mind. The length of the meeting is in the process of being determined. Village Circle is to reinforce peer to peer learning. Village Circles is a way for the program to develop centralized resources of community partners that provide social and emotional support for the family that participates in our program. We encourage families to join us and have a conversation with their community members who are experts in their field about various topics that the families/parents would like to address.


    • Promote the parent’s role as the child’s teacher through experiences focused on the parent-child relationship.
    • Focus on the family’s traditions, culture, values, and beliefs, as appropriate.
    • Be planned jointly with families.
    • Be conducted with both child and parent participation.
    • Provide age-appropriate activities.
    • Encourage parents to share experiences related to their child’s development with other parents to strengthen parent-child relationships and promote parent understanding of child development.

Source: Adapted from Head Start ELCH Home Visitor Handbook

Service Delivery Timeline

  • 90 Minutes: Socializing

  • 30 Minutes: Parent Share Time.

  • 15 Minutes: Q.A. Wrap-Up Time

  • 45 Minutes: Parent Child Development Knowledge Training

Genuine Care for the Child and Parent

  • Eye contact while talking with family
  • Not interrupting or dismissive behavior/body language
  • Having their own boundaries and limits
  • Welcoming
  • Learning names/referring to people by first names
  • Not disclosing information about families to other families/keeping information confidential
  • Respecting the dignity and ability to make choices of the parents and children
  • Respecting parent’s ability to parent
  • Not enforcing certain ideologies on the parents
  • Prioritize teamwork and the leadership of parents.