Spread word about Great Start

Published 9:56 pm Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dear editor:

Are you a parent in Cass County looking for ways to become more connected to your community, while also benefitting our county’s children? If so, please join the Cass County Great Start Parent Coalition!
The Great Start system is active in nearly every county in Michigan. The overall goal of Great Start is to ensure that every child in Michigan is safe, healthy, prepared and eager to succeed in school.
Research shows that when children enter school ready, they are more successful in school, more likely to graduate and are more likely to have greater achievements as adults. Encouraging our children’s development from birth to school entry is an investment in the future of our county, and our state.
I have been a member of Cass County’s Great Start Parent Coalition since it began two years ago. Over that time, we have built a strong coalition of dedicated parent/caregiver members, worked alongside community leaders involved in the Cass County Great Start Collaborative, hosted our legislators on a bus tour of the county, launched the Family Friendly Business campaign, participated in two Star Power legislative bus trips to Lansing, co-sponsored two Family Holiday Celebration events at the Cass District Library and offered the first Mom-2-Mom Sale in Cass County.
These are only a few of our successes; there have been many more.
For me, involvement with the Great Start Parent Coalition has strengthened my ties to our community, and has helped me feel empowered to create meaningful changes that will impact my children and those growing up with them.
We are a work group, coming together to get things accomplished, but we have also created a natural supportive network of parent and caregiver friends.
Our next Great Start Parent Coalition monthly meeting is Monday, Feb. 27, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Cassopolis. We always share a free meal together; child care is provided; and transportation is available.
Please join us, and spread the word to others you know!

Melissa Freer-Smith