January 2022

Great Start Collaborative News and Events

March Quarterly Meeting

Please join us in a discussion of the latest data reflecting our community. We are delighted to have Jayme Vosovic joining us from Michigan League of Public Policy to share this year's Kids Count information. Check out MLPP's response to the 2021-2022 state budget.

RSVP now for the Quarterly Meeting!

Families Connect: Parent Coalition

Thank you to all of the parents & caregivers who attended our January Parent Cafe! We had a great discussion about the Protective Factor: Concrete Support in Times of Need. For some ideas about how to find the answers to the following questions: What do I want? What do I need? How can I ask others for help & support? check out THIS article.

We hope you can join us for a February Families Connect: Parent Coalition meeting! The meetings will take place virtually on either Wednesday, February 9th at 7:30pm or Thursday, February 10th a 2:00pm. You can sign up on our website. Come learn about some of our parent-led initiatives for the spring, and share your ideas!

Talking is Teaching

It's 2022! And Kalamazoo County Talking is Teaching is excited to continue to bring you materials and messaging for the young children and families in your life! Check out the resource page on our website and our two recent toolkits below for early brain and literacy development activities and strategies!

January PLAY toolkit
February COMMUNITY toolkit

Would you like to learn the specific messaging behind the Talking is Teaching campaign? We are pleased to hold a virtual, community-wide Trusted Messenger Training on Tuesday, March 22, from 1-2:30pm, open to any individual working in any sector.
This training will provide information on how the campaign works and what you can do to help children in Kalamazoo County achieve early literacy. Whether you are a parent or have young grandchildren, work at a bank or grocery store, a non-profit, or any business that interacts with families - this training is for you! Join our foundational partners at the Kalamazoo Public Library, the Kalamazoo Literacy Council, KRESA Head Start, Early On and Seeds for Success, KCReady4s and St. Luke's Diaper Bank, and learn how you can share the message of the campaign - no matter where you are or what you do! RSVP HERE.


ECE Career Pathway Flyer English

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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