It was the LinkedIn profile picture of a woman flanked by two Muppets that drew me to read an article about Sesame Street in Communities, a relatively new educational arm of Sesame Workshop. I had never heard of Sesame Street in Communities and was eager to read about this new initiative. The article, written by Jeanette Betancourt, was entitled: How can Elmo and his Sesame Street Friends Help Improve your Community’s Health?
I was compelled to reach out to the author to share my appreciation for the abundance of resources Sesame Workshop was providing through Sesame Street in Communities. My message included my work as a preschool nurse in an urban district and the success we have promoting parent engagement through our Community Café Initiative. Off went my message, into the LinkedIn stratosphere. One week later, to my delight and complete surprise, Jeanette responded! Her message was kind, supportive and encouraging. I took another chance, and sent more detailed information about Community Cafés and included a video clip about our project.
Within a few minutes, Jeanette had responded again! It turned out that she was stuck on a train and had been able to view the video clip in my follow up message during her train delay. Her enthusiastic response was authentic and generous and she offered to schedule a phone call to discuss how Sesame Street in Communities could support the work we were doing in Camden. Our communications have been fruitful and professionally rewarding. I have shared the rich content of Sesame Street in Communities personally with my teachers and parents and virtually with other school nurses in this recent blog post: The Relentless School Nurse: Sesame Street in Communities and the Circle of Care.
School Nurses have been called to action by Nina Fekaris, NASN President, to tell our stories and share the true work of our specialty practice. Nina charged us with this task during her acceptance speech at the NASN 2017 Conference in San Diego. We are the authors of our profession, and it is up to us to define our complex role across all sectors. We know the challenges and opportunities of our work, but how well do we share our outcomes, our impact on those outside of our inner circle?
I am honored and humbled to share a recent outcome! November 1, 2017, was a day that will always make me smile. That was the day I was selected to be a Sesame Hero! Social media platforms liked Twitter and LinkedIn have opened doors that I never knew existed. Please share your social media success stories. We learn from each other.