The pandemic has made it especially difficult for parents to “bubble” and otherwise get the resources they need. So when a mutual friend introduced Joe Fatheree and Florence Ann Romano, the two bonded instantly over their love of children, their passion for parenting, and recognizing that parents everywhere needed help. And, with that, the podcast Finger Painting the Future was born
Launched on November 4, 2020, this weekly podcast aims to build an empowered community of supportive parents. Like finger painting, parenting can be a messy (yet exhilarating) endeavor. But it can also be easier and fun if you have friends to do it with you.
“You always hear people say ‘It takes a village,’ and they’re right, it does,” Romano tells Parentology. A founding member of Sesame Street’s Leadership Council and a member of the Board of Directors at the Children’s Research Fund at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, she says that, “Joe and I are here via podcast to give you directions to the village, and to be the village for you and yours.”
The two are aptly armed to take on the challenge. While Romano is a longtime child advocate, Fatheree has been inspiring children across America with his teaching strategies for more than 30 years. One of the world’s top educators, Fatheree was a Top 10 Finalist for the 2016 Global Teacher Prize, 2009 NEA Member Benefits Award, and 2007 Illinois Teacher of the Year for his outstanding contributions to education.
“In our podcast, we interview top parenting experts, psychologists, educators, celebrities, and regular moms and dads,” Fatheree tells Parentology. “We roll up our sleeves and dive right into the hottest childcare and education topics that keep parents up at night.”
Likewise, Romano adds that “COVID has rocked everyone’s world, and it feels like most of the time parents are just trying to survive. Joe and I wanted to be a lifeboat for parents and families across the country to help navigate their every single day struggles in a COVID and post-COVID world.”
Each episode of Finger Painting the Future is about 35-45 minutes, and topics run the gamut; nothing is off the table, whether they’re discussing the current childcare crisis or philanthropy. Both Fatheree and Romano hope that listeners feel supported by the team’s messaging and want parents to know they’re not alone.
“We never want anyone to feel like they are isolated, misunderstood, or forgotten. We want listeners to feel our arms and hearts around them, every single episode,” says Romano.
Acting like a pseudo-foster family, Finger Painting the Future challenges its listeners to think, discuss and engage with their families using creative problem-solving. “No one expects parents to do this alone, yet alone is what every parent feels right now,” Romano tells us. “We want to be your village; we want to give you actionable advice and bring folks virtually into your home that lift you up, encourage and guide you.”
“Finger Painting the Future explores compassion and possibility in contemporary childcare and education. We recognize that parenting is especially challenging in today’s world,” Fatheree agrees. “We want you to know that we’re here and we hear you.”
Finger Painting the Future is available on all podcast platforms. More information is available at www.FingerPaintingTheFuture.com.