May 2019


Great Start Collaborative Quarterly Meeting

Join us for our June 6 Quarterly Meeting! Please RSVP by Friday, May 31.
Lunch and networking at 12:30 p.m. and the meeting will begin at 1:00 p.m. sharp. See you then!

Important GSC Updates

Playgroups out in the community

We are delighted to announce that we have two playgroups happening out in the community! Through a partnership between El Concilio, Seeds for Success and the Great Start Collaborative, Spanish-speaking families meet weekly to connect with one another and to learn about early literacy opportunities.
Additionally, we are co-hosting two playgroups at Douglass Community Association with Fatherhood Network and Rootead. Please help us spread the word!

playgroup at douglass

Great Start Parent Coalition Updates

On June 20, the Parent Coalition will meet at Oshtemo Township Park from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. for our first outdoor meeting of the summer! Parents from all early childhood programs in Kalamazoo County are encouraged to attend. Please RSVP by June 13 for food and child care.

We are also pleased to congratulate former Parent Coalition member, Emily Kastner, on the release of her two beautiful children's books. As a skilled illustrator and writer, Emily has helped us with numerous projects over the years. Most recently, she worked with local parents to design both sets of families on our Protective Factors materials. Please check out her Nerdy Babies website and enjoy her delightful books available as board books and hardcover books for older children.


Early Childhood in the News

Early Literacy Efforts

"Laundromats are playing an unlikely role in the effort to shrink America’s literacy gap"
We are so proud to be involved in Too Small To Fail's Talking Is Teaching efforts.

Trauma-Informed Care

Kalamazoo County organizations have joined forces to present a powerful conference on May 31.
"With Keynote Speaker Dr. Laura Porter, co-founder of the ACE Interface, and work group sessions led by community leaders, there is something for everyone. We invite area professionals to join us for a day of learning and collaboration as we work together to create a trauma-responsive community."


Early Childhood Across Kalamazoo County

Seeking Presenters for Early Childhood Institute

Please consider presenting at Kalamazoo RESA's Early Childhood Institute on August 28, 2019. We are seeking presenters on a wide variety of topics, ranging from newborn home visiting services to transitions into kindergarten.

Upcoming Family Events

KPL's Party in the Park

Celebrate early childhood literacy!
Wednesday, May 29
10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Bronson Park, Downtown Kalamazoo
Free event, open to the public. Registration is required.

Portage Festival in the Flats

Wednesday, June 5
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Portage District Library Celery Flats Historical Area
Registration is required.

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Join parents from across the community to watch the powerful film "Resilience" and discuss the impact of trauma on local children. We are grateful to local parents who are working diligently to make real changes for all of our children.

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Sarah Drumm, Program Coordinator, 269-250-9635

Marta Lehman, Parent Liaison, 269-250-9665

Deirdre Bartells, Program Assistant, 269-250-9664

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