S aginaw County Great Start Collaborative 
May 2016





Summer Safety Tips

As summer nears, it's important to remember a few safety tips so you and your family can get the most enjoyment out of the season!

~ Apply sunscreen with SPF 15            or greater to reduce sunburns

~ Apply 15 to 30 minutes before sun      exposure
~ Limit sun exposure, especially between the hours of 10 A.M. and          2 P.M.
~ Nothing protects your child better than your presence

6th Annual Great Start Day at the Zoo
Brings in a Big Crowd! 

On May 5th, the Great Start Collaboratives of Saginaw, Midland and Bay-Arenac held their 6th Annual Great Start Day at the Zoo event at the Children's Zoo at Celebration Square. In the short span of 4 hours, 2,500 people attended! 

This year we were fortunate enough to secure financial support from the Kiwanis Clubs of Midland, Saginaw, Saginaw Northwest and Saginaw Thomas Township.  In addition to Kiwanis serving as our
Event Sponsor, our  Marketing Sponsor was My 96.1 WHNN and 102.5 WIOG .  

And our event would not have been nearly  as  successful  without our wonderful  Event Supporters , which included:  Tommy the Magician, Public Libraries of Saginaw,  Bay County Library System, PNC Bank, Coca-Cola Bay Cit y and many volunteers!

Thank you to the Children's Zoo at Celebration Square for your on-going partnership! We look forward to working with you again next year! 

Chalk It Up...To Investing In Children!
Join us in the fun!

The Great Start Collaborative and our partners are gearing up for Chalk It Up...To Investing in Children.   Join us and other local businesses on Thursday, June 23 from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  We will be chalking up sidewalks in downtown Saginaw with messages about the importance of early childhood.  You can join us too!  For more information on how you can get involved that day, contact Julie at jkozan@sisd.cc or 989-399-7452.  

Parent Voice 

The Parent Coalition had a fun past few months with the Great Start Day at the Zoo taking place, participating in the Bee for Literacy fundraiser and planning for the upcoming Children's Fun Day in August!

We had our FREE Family Night out on April 25th and enjoyed a great turn out with many new faces.  It was a pleasure having PNC Bank join us and provide participants with a class on budgeting.  Our families received workbook and the children in attendance received a piggy bank and book.  PNC Bank offers many different classes and we look forward to having them back again to talk about another topic! We would like to extend a huge thank you to Beckie and Martha from PNC Bank!

On April 27th our Parent Liaison traveled to Lansing for a Train the Trainer conference.  At that training, she learned how to teach the Strengthening Families framework and how to conduct parent cafes. Strengthening Families is a research-based, cost-effective strategy to increase family strengths, enhance child development and reduce child abuse and neglect.  We are also very excited to be able to hold parent cafes in the community!

Thank you to Amanda Schoch for hosting our GSC Parent Coalition table at the Baby Academy on May 21st!  She was able to connect with parents and talk about how much she has grown from being involved with the Parent Coalition.  The Baby Academy offers a variety of helpful child-rearing resources - all in one place.  

Family-Friendly Business Spotlight 

The Great Start Collaborative has selected Safe Kids Greater Thumb and Saginaw Area for its Family-Friendly Business Spotlight award for the months of May and June 2016.  Safe Kids Greater Thumb and Saginaw Area provides car seat inspections in Saginaw County at least once a month.  During these inspections, they show parents and caregivers how to properly install car seats, make sure the children are in the correct seat, and show how they should be strapped in.  They also provide seats to low income families if the seat they currently have is no longer usable (disposing of the old seat for safety), or if they don't have a seat for their child (no questions asked or penalties for not having a seat).  

During the Spring into Safety Event they not only provided car seat inspections, but also had a bike rodeo where they taught about bike safety and safety around cars, provided helmets to children, and had a drunk driving simulated course.  They also invited the fire department to come with their smoke house, Coast Guard to talk about boater safety, CAN Council to discuss safe sleep, and other area programs to share their information.  
Parents who volunteer with the Pare nt Coalition helped choose this award designation.  One pare nt who nominated Safe Kids Greater Thumb and Saginaw Area stated, "They are a wonderful program that go above and  beyond for all kids in the community."  For more information, please visit their websi te at www.safekids.org/coa lition/safe-kids-greater-thumb -a nd-saginaw-a re a  or their Facebook page: Safe Kids Greater Thumb and Saginaw Area.  

Congratulations to Safe Kids Greater Thumb and Saginaw Area for providing such great services to families in Saginaw County! 
Multiethnic Group of Hands Holding Thanks
Bee for Literacy Fundraiser
Stellar Spellers gave it a "stellar" try!

The Great Start Collaborative (GSC) once again participated in this year's annual Bee for Literacy fundraiser organized by Altrusa International of Saginaw and Rotary Club of Saginaw.  The 3 person spelling team, better know as Stellar Spellers, represented the GSC. In attendance cheering on the Stellar Spellers was also a table of 6 GSC partners.  

The Stellar Spellers came up short and made it through several rounds, but not quite to the finish.  However, the cheering team won first place for the "most spirited" award. This is their FOURTH year winning this award!  

Way to go ladies!!


This year Healthy Families America (HFA) was chosen as a recipient of the funds raised from the spelling bee.  Funds received will be used to purchase children's books for families enrolled in the HFA home visiting program, as well as provide early literacy education and activities.  



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


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.