December 2020

KalCo Talking is Teaching FOOD poster Page 1

Talking is Teaching

No matter what holiday you celebrate this month, December is often filled with special traditions. And although our celebrations are smaller this year, we still have wonderful ways to help make them special for our young children - and the exploration of food this month is no exception. So, Let's Talk About Food! Our theme this month explores how we can engage our young children in early literacy techniques by making, playing, and exploring the topic of food! We encourage you to check out the December themed bundle and join us for the upcoming events! (Please note our virtual events are most applicable for parents and caregivers of children from birth to 5 years of age, primarily. Some content is also useful with early elementary children.)

Let's Talk About Food Virtual Parent Skill-building Session

Wednesday, December 16 from 1:30-2:00pm.
Parents and caregivers are invited to explore the theme, Let's Talk About FOOD, and offer ideas and strategies to help grow our children's young brains! The meeting will take place on Zoom and last 30 minutes. All you will need is a device to join the meeting, a relaxing spot, and your favorite snack or beverage. A $50 gift card will be raffled during the session. Click here to sign up and we will email you the zoom meeting link.

Let's Talk About Food Virtual Playgroup

Thursday, December 17th at 10:00am-10:30am.
Bring your little ones and together we will read a story, do some fun interactive activities, and talk about ideas for ways you can talk, read and sing with your little one at home. The playgroup will take place on Zoom and last from 10:00 to 10:30. All participants will be entered into a raffle to win a $50 Gift Card! Click here to fill out the form and we will email you the zoom meeting link.

Let's Talk About Play Virtual Playgroup

Thursday, January 7th 10:00-10:30am
Come explore this month's theme: Let's Talk About Play! This event is designed for families with children ages 0-5. We will read a story, sing songs, and do some fun interactive activities together. Following the playgroup, all families will receive a bag that includes a book, Talking is Teaching materials, and ideas for talking, reading & singing with your little ones at home!
Click here to sign up.

The Kalamazoo County Talking is Teaching Campaign continues to seek opportunities to help spread the message of the importance of TALKING, SINGING, and READING each day to young children, knowing the powerful impact it has on early brain and literacy development. If you would like to incorporate Talking is Teaching messaging, materials, and resources into your work with children and families, please don't hesitate to reach out to Jen Stroven, Campaign Manager, at Virtual staff and volunteer trainings are available for scheduling.

Parent Meeting Updates

Parent Coalition

Parent Coalition Meetings are opportunities for parents and caregivers to take action on ways we can help support families in our community. Coalition meetings include opportunities for connecting with other parents & caregivers and action steps for using our influence to help shape early childhood initiatives.
The meetings will take place on Zoom and last one hour.
All participants will have a chance to win a $50 Gift Card!
If you are a parent or caregiver, we would love for you to join us!
Your voice matters.
Click on the date to sign up.
Thursday, December 10th, 1:30 Parent Coalition
Tuesday, December 15th, 7:30 Parent Coalition

Virtual Parent Cafe

Tuesday, January 5th 7:30pm-8:30pm
Click here to sign up.

Save the Dates

Virtual Parent Coalition

Tuesday, January 26th, 7:30-8:30pm. Click here to sign up.
Thursday, January 28th 1:30-2:30pm. Click here to sign up.

Virtual Parent Cafe

Tuesday, January 19th 7:30pm-8:30pm. Click here to sign up.

Talking is Teaching

Let's Talk About Play Parent Skill-building Session - January 20th, 1- 1:30 pm
Click here to sign up.

GSC Quarterly Meeting

Virtual Quarterly Meeting March 4th 2021, 1-3 pm.
RSVP by Noon, Tuesday, March 2nd


Community Resources

maternal health

From Concept to Action: An Equity Approach to Improving Maternal & Infant Health

Persistent disparities in infant and maternal health outcomes throughout the US and in Michigan are a call to action. Disparities in health care quality highlight an important point of entry for disrupting systemic inequity and unconscious bias in care. The MPHI Center for Health Equity Practice and Dr. Uche Blackstock with Advancing Equity, funded by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, offers a workshop series that addresses inequities in maternal and infant mortality by supporting transformational change within individual and organizational practice. This series leverages the wisdom and power of health care providers to lead change within their own organizations and across the State of Michigan by building capacity to mobilize equity initiatives through training, technical assistance, and participation in a community of practice.
Click here to register.


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.


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

Powered by Mad Mimi®A GoDaddy® company