S aginaw County Great Start Collaborative 
March 2016

Happy little child announcement the Spring Break


Save The Date
August 17, 2016


Smell the Flowers

The days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer. Spring break is upon us and before we blink, summer will be here! Take time with your family to enjoy the beauty of spring in Michigan. Take a walk in the park, go for a bike ride and stop to smell the blooming flowers.  Springtime doesn't last long, so make sure you enjoy it while it's here! 

7th Annual 
Early Childhood Services Tour & Luncheon

It was a packed room on March 14, 2016, as participants came to learn more about the great work being done in Saginaw County to improve the quality of child care available to families. The Great Start to Quality Resource Center Director, Julie Bash, provided a comprehensive overview of the work being done to improve the quality of care in licensed and unlicensed child care homes and centers. 

Also on hand was a parent, Amanda Schoch, who shared her family's experience with child care services and Kelly Conrad, a child care provider, who shared her experience with starting her own licensed group home and the efforts she and her staff have made to provide the highest quality care to families.  

Pamela Pugh and Jamie Forbes tied the luncheon together by discussing the state efforts with regard to not only improving the quality of child care, but also the growing interest  in  hosting community conversations around  the "Raising of America" video series.

The Great Start Collaborative would like to extend a thank you to Michigan Child Care Centers (Kinder Kare) for their eye for detail.  All table and wall decorations were created  by their staff  and children  at their child care centers.  Also, thanks go out to the Communications & Advocacy Committee for their many months of planning to ensure the luncheon was a great success!

Thank You Kiwanis! 
Event Sponsor for the 6th Annual 
Great Start Day at the Zoo

On behalf of the Great Start Collaborative, 
our regional partners, and the Great Lakes
Bay community, we thank Kiwanis for their generous financial support and are excited to recognize them as this year's event sponsor! 

6th Annual Great Start Day at the Zoo
Everything You Need to Know! 

Parent Voice

The Parent Coalition has been quite busy the past few months.  A big thank you to all the parents that helped everything run smoothly!  

On February 22, the Parent Coalition had their FREE Family Night out.  The kids enjoyed a fun Easter Egg Hunt, a cute bunny craft and story time.  Rhonda Butler from the Public Libraries of Saginaw joined us and provided an interactive story time with the kids.  They were able to hold animal puppets and interact throughout the story.  After the kids' story, it was the parents turn.  Rhonda spoke with parents about the importance of reading to their children and how to make reading fun!  

The next FREE Family Night out is April 25 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at 915 Federal Avenue, Saginaw.  This event will focus on budgeting.  PNC Bank will be providing an hour long budgeting class with parents while the kids will have an "S for Savings" class to educate them on money.  

On March 9, our Parent Liaison, Great Start Collaborative Director, Director of Early Childhood and Parenting Services at Saginaw ISD and the Prevention Specialist from the CAN Council Great Lakes Bay Region attended a Community Organizing conference in Gaylord.  They learned about recruitment activities and how to go where the parents are. This was a great conference with plenty of time to network with other GSCs and Parent Coalitions to see what is working for them.  We look forward to putting these strategies to good use in our community!

Family-Friendly Business Spotlight Winner

The Great Start Collaborative (GSC) has selected Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) for its Family-Friendly Business Spotlight award for March and April 2016.  MSUE helps people improve their lives by bringing the vast knowledge of resources of MSUE directly to individuals, communities and businesses.  Their mission is to help people improve their lives through an educational process that applies knowledge to critical issues, needs and opportunities. 

 Parents who volunteer with the GSC Parent Coalition helped choose this award designation.  One parent who nominated MSUE stated, "Maria Millett from MSUE is also becoming increasingly active in programs with the Saginaw ISD.  She attends the coalition meetings and she is also on an Early Childhood team with Saginaw ISD.  MSUE staff are also wonderful advocates for Great Start to Quality."  MSUE provides many classes and outreach opportunities to Saginaw County, including: early childhood education for parents and caregivers, nutrition and physical activity education for all ages and housing education.  You can visit their website for more information at www.msue.anr.msu.edu/county/info/saginaw 


Congratulations to Michigan State University Extension for your long history of serving families in Saginaw County!   



Children's Fun Day
August 17, 2016
3 - 6 PM
Haithco Park

More to come soon!

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.