November 2021

Great Start Collaborative News and Events

Great Start Collaborative Quarterly Meetings

Please join us as we discuss compassion fatigue with special guest, Casey Coker. We will also learn about great early childhood literature focusing on social-emotional learning from Jill Lansky.

Please RSVP by December 1st.

Families Connect: Parent Coalition

Parents & Caregivers, please join us for our VIRTUAL December meeting!

▪ connect with other parents & caregivers
▪ learn about parenting & child development
▪ provide a "customer perspective" about early childhood
▪ take action to support other families in our community
connect with other parents & caregivers
learn about parenting & child development
provide a "customer perspective" about early childhood
take action to support other families in our community

Sign up by visiting our website.

Wednesday, December 15th 7:30-8:30pm
Thursday, December 16th 2:00-3:00pm


Talking is Teaching Early Literacy Campaign

Kalamazoo County Talking is Teaching​ offers materials, trainings and strategies to help boost children’s brain power - during everyday activities from the comfort of one's home! Because the research is clear: the brain develops more rapidly in the first few years of life than at any other time. ​We are excited to share this message through two new projects kicking off this month with the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) and St. Luke's Diaper Bank (SLDB)!

Approximately 150 students and families within twelve GSRP classrooms will receive monthly Talking is Teaching materials during the school year. Thank you to Laura Yclan, Kalamazoo RESA Early Childhood Specialist, for helping to organize this special project!

KalCo TT Diaper Poster

Did you know that the St. Luke's Diper Bank (SLDB) provides diapers to more than 7000 families per year? And now through grant funds provided by the Harold and Grace Upjohn Foundation, these families will also receive early literacy materials with every diaper package! Thank you to Sarah Koestler, director of SLDP, for helping us plan four special Diaper Distribution Early Literacy events. this spring.

As you go about your work supporting young children, consider how the campaign might support your efforts. This November, explore our literacy toolkit, "Let's Talk About Feelings" and just in time for families gathering during the holidays, here is December's "Let's Talk About Food"




Great Start Collaborative Staff

Sarah Drumm, Program Coordinator, 269-250-9635

Deirdre Bartells, Program Assistant, 269-250-9664

Ashley Drenth, Parent Liaison, 269-250-9665

Jen Stroven, Talking is Teaching Campaign Manager, 269-250-9701


Great Start Collaborative Vision

A Great Start for every child in Kalamazoo County: safe, healthy and successful in school and life.

Great Start Collaborative Mission

The purpose of the Great Start Collaborative is to ensure a coordinated system of community resources and family supports in Kalamazoo County.

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