S aginaw County Great Start Collaborative 

Fall 2016
Colorful autumn leaves chestnuts and cones on natural wooden table studio isolated on white panorama format
Fall is upon us! 

School is back in session, the weather is getting cooler, and the leaves are turning beautiful shades of gold and
red. Fall is upon us! Chances are, you're busy with school activities, fall sports, and getting your children back on schedule.  Before we know it, the snow will be falling and the trees will be bare.   Make time to do  something special with your child - whether it be carving a pumpkin, jumping in the leaves or simply taking  a walk and looking at the changing colors. 


Celebrating 2016 and Looking Forward to 2017 at the GSC Annual Meeting

The Great Start Collaborative (GSC) celebrated successes at their Annual Meeting on September 26th.  The meeting was kicked off by having groups reflect on what they love about the GSC, followed by showcasing the year's successes.  Some of the biggest successes of the past year include being awarded $244,000 to expand home visiting services in the City of Saginaw, full sponsorship of the annual Great Start Day at the Zoo event through the generosity of four regional Kiwanis clubs, over 3,500 people in attendance at our two signature events - Great Start at the Zoo and Children's Fun Day, and increased strength of our Local Leadership Group (county-wide home visiting committee) through shared professional development, referrals and increased transparency.  

In addition to celebrating our successes of the past year, we also shared the exciting plans for 2017.  The development of two Little Free Library sites in Saginaw County, developing a community plan for school readiness (including new resources on the GSC website), and coordinated professional development for early childhood providers with a focus on healthy birth outcomes and pre-literacy are just a few of the exciting things in store for 2017!

We wrapped up the Annual Meeting with one of our favorite parts of the event - awarding this year's Parent Member of the Year winner and this year's Nancy Butterfield Unsung Hero winner.  A heartfelt congratulations goes out to Ashley Prell for receiving the Parent Member of the Year award and Heidi Churchfield for receiving the Nancy Butterfield Unsung Hero award.  Both ladies are instrumental to the work of the GSC and Parent Coalition, as well as invaluable to the greater community!



Increased Funding for Home Visiting


In August, the Great Start Collaborative (GSC) and Saginaw ISD were awarded $244,000 through a competitive grant through the Office of Great Start.  This grant funding will be used to increase home visiting services available to families living in the City of Saginaw.  The Saginaw Public School's Birth-5 Program will be collaborating with the GSC and Saginaw ISD on this endeavor.  We were one of fifteen GSCs in Michigan to receive grant funding.  


Thank you to all the GSC partners that attended meetings and provided meaningful input during the grant writing process!  We look forward to being able to increase home visiting services to families with young children!  


Teamwork Team Together Collaboration Meeting Office Brainstorming Concept

Parent Voice

The Parent Coalition had a busy past three months with conferences, outreach fairs and creating work plans for the new fiscal year.  In July, our Parent Liaison had the opportunity to attend the Parents Partnering for Change training in Frankenmuth.  The curriculum trains Michigan parents to use their voice to impact program planning and policy development on local, regional, and state boards and other decision-making bodies.  

In August, we attended the Michigan Home Visiting Conference in Detroit, where our own Amanda Schoch received the Parent Leadership Inspiration Award!  Amanda is a parent leader on the GSC Board and is involved in all four GSC subcommittees, in

addition to other committees within the county and state. We are extremely appreciative of her passion and drive to advocate for all Saginaw County's children!  




Also during the month of August we had a FREE Family Night Out with special speaker, Julie Bash, from the Great Start to Quality Resource Center.  She educated our parents on the services they provide and how to find quality child care in Michigan.  Our next night out is October 24, 2016 at 5:30 p.m.  We are excited to bring PNC Bank in to provide a Credit 101 class!  


During the month of September we hosted a focus group around parent involvement in school.  We had a great turnout, with over 30 parents participating!  They provided input that will be taken to our Parent Leadership and Support subcommittee for further feedback and next steps. A big thank you go the CAN Council for allowing us to use their beautiful building for this focus group! 


Family-Friendly Business Spotlight Winner

The GSC has selected Meijer of Tittabawassee Road for the Family-Friendly Business Spotlight Fall 2016 winnter. "Meijer was built on one family's dream - but our success throughout the years has been shaped by dynamic professionals with diverse talents.  Together, we believe in doing great work in our stores, distribution centers, manufacturing facilities and corporate offices, while always taking care of what's truly important - family.  We're an expansive but nimble company, delicately balanced to provide excellent service to both our customers and our team members."  This statement was taken from Meijer's 'family values' section of their website and it really does show in their work that their number one priority is FAMILY.

Parents and partners who volunteer with the GSC Parent Coalition helped choose this award designation.  One partner who nominated Meijer of Tittabawassee Road stated, "Meijer has been an immense help to our programs. Since we are grant funded, there are restrictions that we have on what we can purchase.  We have asked for donations from Meijer several times throughout the course of the past year and they have been generous each time. For example, we had an Open House earlier this year in which they gave us a $500 gift card to purchase supplies for our home child providers in Saginaw who attended.  This was so helpful and the home providers were very appreciative."  


For more information about Meijer, please visit their website www.meijer.com.  


Congratulations again to Meijer of Tittabawassee Road for continually servicing our families in Saginaw County! 

Save the Date

Parent Coalition Holiday Party
December 12, 2016
St. John Lutheran 
915 Federal Ave., Saginaw
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. 

dinner...crafts...giveaways ...visit from Santa!

Wooden christmas background with red santa hats for a festive frame or card.


Julie Kozan                        Farren Samuels
GSC Director                      GSC Parent Liaison
jkozan@sisd.cc                   fsamuels@sisd.cc
989.399.7452                     989.399.7458

You can also visit our website at www.greatstartsaginaw.org

All children will enter kindergarten safe, healthy and ready to succeed 
in school and in life.