Across the state of Michigan, the Office of Great Start and the Great Start Collaboratives have convened a network of Great Start Parent Coalitions (GSPC). Coalitions are groups of parents, caregivers and guardians with children under the age of 12 years old. They serve as advocates, cheerleaders, thought-leaders, teachers, students, coaches and team-members. The number of parents, caregivers and guardians who can join the coalition is unlimited. In Cass County, the parents, caregivers and guardians have formed a strong coalition to lend voice and hand to the beliefs that every child prenatal to third grade deserves a Great Start in life.
Great Start Cass County recognizes the importance of getting an early start to prevent unhealthy and unsafe conditions for children so that their future is brighter. The Cass County Great Start Parent Coalition voluntarily come together monthly to advocate and raise awareness of the importance of investing in a comprehensive early childhood system. This coalition is engaged in the planning and implementing of early childhood services in Cass County. We strive to empower parents to be their best and offer support and resources. Our Collaborative have Workgroups that parents are also encouraged to join.
Purpose of the Cass County Parent Coalition is:
To assist in improving programs and services for Cass County families with children prenatal to third grade by providing a “customer” perspective for the Great Start Collaborative giving the Collaborative and workgroups means to better understand the desires and needs of parents in our community;
- To educate community member about the importance of early childhood;
- To support the Great Start Collaborative’s work toward achieving Michigan’s early childhood outcomes – that are born healthy, remain healthy, thriving and developmentally on track from birth to third grade, that children are ready to succeed in school at the time of school entry, and that children are ready to succeed in fourth grade and beyond by reading proficiently by the end of third grade; and
- To provide information, education, and resources to parents raising young children.
The Coalition supports the work of the Collaborative but also has the authority to support other work that it deems appropriate and necessary for the good of children and families. The Coalition has a “life of its’ own” and is not governed by the Collaborative.
Members of the Cass County Great Start Parent Coalition are volunteers.
For more information about the Parent Coalition and how to join CLICK HERE
2021 Parent Coalition Meeting Schedule
The Parent Coalition Monthly Meetings are held on the 4th Wednesday of each month. Currently they are being held virtually. If in person they are held at the Cass District Library, 319 M-62, Cassopolis, MI 49031, at 11:00 am.
The meeting schedule is as follows:
We would enjoy to hear from you. Please contact Anna Carter at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to join the monthly virtual meetings.
Talking Is Teaching
“Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” is a public awareness and action campaign that helps parents recognize their power to boost their children’s early brain and vocabulary development through simple, everyday actions – like describing things while walking outside, or singing songs together during bath time. Using books, parent videos, text messaging, social media, and information from expert partners, Talking is Teaching empowers parents and caregivers with fun and easy ways to improve their babies’ learning.
Visit Talking Is Teaching website for Early Learning Activities:
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth until they begin school, no matter their family’s income. For more information and how to register your child to receive books.
Little Free Libraries
4 Little Free Libraries have been launched in Spring of 2019 at the following locations in Cass County
Brookside Learning Center, Cass County Council On Aging, Mason/Union Township Hall, Park Downtown Marcellus
Thank you to Midwest Energy Communications for your sponsorship.
Bright by Text is for anyone who cares for and loves a child, prenatally through age 8: parents, parents-to-be, grandparents, babysitters, aunties, uncles, neighbors, friends, teachers, and more.
Bright By Text sends free text messages with easy, practical tips and activities right to your cell phone. Our content comes from trusted partners like PBS and Sesame Street. Messages are targeted to your child’s age and include information on development, language and early literacy, health and safety, behavioral tips, and more.
The only Thing you need is your child’s birth date and zip code. That way, you’ll get messages timed to their exact age and information about local events and resources. We will never share your info! Bright by Text is completely free, but message and data rates may apply.
Link to register: Bright By Text
MILESTONE TRACKER APP
MILESTONES TRACKER APP
For an easy way to keep track of when your child should reach certain milestones, download the free CDC Milestones Tracker app in the Apple App Store or on Google Play available in English and Spanish. The App also includes activities and learning tips for each age and an area where you can keep track of all your trips to the doctor.
Michigan Prepares Emergency Plan App
The Michigan Prepares Emergency Plan mobile app is a free, easy-to-use tool that can help you and your family create a basic emergency plan in a few quick steps. The app is available for download on both Apple and Android devices.
Contacts: You rely on our phones for a lot, but emergencies are unpredictable. Import valuable contacts from your phone directly into a plan so you and your family have access to those numbers, even if the power goes out, or your phone is lost or damaged.
Meeting Places: Select emergency family meeting places so everyone knows how to find each other if returning home isn’t an option during a disaster.
Email Export: Send a PDF of your completed plan to yourself and your household members to print and store in a safe place so you have access to your important information no matter what happens.
Resources: Basic supply checklists, Michigan-specific hazard fact sheets, and important links to stay connected and informed are included in the app and printable plan.
WNIT/PBS Kids At-Home Learning
PBS KIDS Curriculum-Based Educational Programming for Pre-K through Grade 4: https://www.pbs.org/parents/learn-at-home
Highlights Next Week on the Michigan Learning Channel: September 6 – 12
This week starts with Labor Day, and then ends with National Grandparents Day on Sunday, September 12th. These family members have decades of experience to share, and they can play a key role in the lives of children.
Be sure to tune into your local PBS Station at 6:00pm on September 12th for a one-hour special on the Library of Congress National Book Festival, hosted by LeVar Burton. The show features a variety of authors and showcases the Festival Theme, “Open a Book, Open the World.” Local air dates and times will vary, so be sure to check local listings. More info and a trailer at https://www.pbs.org/show/library-congress-national-book-festival/.
Know! Six R’s for Less Stress Homeschooling
To learn more about the Six R’s for Less Stress Homeschooling click on the following link: Know-Six-Rs-for-Less-Stress-Homeschooling
2020 Roof-Sit Innovation Learning Kits
The 2020 Innovation project provides Cass County with a pilot program geared towards helping parents by equipping them how to encourage learning and sustain positive interactions with their children. This will provide a lasting change in how parents interact with their children in prevention of incidents of abuse and neglect.
This project seeks to change the cycle of abuse and neglect for families in a positive, active, developmentally appropriate way. The kits will provide materials and supplies with guidance to envision success as a parent during their visits with their children.
These kits provide families with fun learning materials suitable for young children according to their age group, a Resource Guide, Talking is Teaching materials, and a learning manual that corresponds with the materials provided in the kit or found around the home.
The Learning kits were first created by the GSRP staff for families to use at home with their preschooler for the remainder of the school year during COVID-19.
The positive parent and child interaction and learning gives them both an overall feeling of well-being and increases the impact for the child to be healthy, thriving and developmental on track.
March Spring Fling
Literacy walk, food, Easter Bunny, free books, Music, Danicing and so much more.
June: Beach Bash
June/July/August: Meet Up and Eat UpBook give-away with Talking is Teaching Kit
August: Vandalia Family Fun Day
These materials were developed under a grant awarded by the Michigan Department of Education.