Great Start News

October 2022

Our Children, Our Community, Our Future

The purpose of the Jackson Great Start Collaborative is to form a countywide network with diverse representation from all sectors of the community including, education and childcare, health and human services, businesses, faith-based organizations, and families. Together we work to ensure Jackson County children are born healthy, developmentally on track, ready to succeed when entering school, and are reading proficiently by the end of third grade.



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Small Children Have Big Feelings: There's an Emotion Behind Every Action

Bright by Text

We have teamed up with Bright by Text, a national parent texting program, to put expert tips, games, and child development information directly into the hands of parents and caregivers. Bright by Text provides research-based content on child development and learning from trusted experts like PBS, Vroom, Sesame Street, and the CDC, beginning in the second trimester of pregnancy up to age 8. 2-4 simple texts are sent out per week that include links leading to additional information, such as a video or website. In addition, texts will include resources and family-friendly activities being offered right here in Jackson County. Bright by Text messages are offered in both English and Spanish and are specific to the age of your child.

It is easy to sign up for Bright by Text - simply text GREATSTART to 274448 or follow this link to get started!!

Sing and Play!

Using fingerplays, songs and rhymes helps children learn language by increasing vocabulary, learning the sounds of words and hearing the rhythm of language. Children can also gain large and small motor skills by performing movements required in fingerplays.
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Why Do Leaves Change Color?

Leaves contain chlorophyll. Chlorophyll makes the leaves green and is so dominant that it covers up all the other colors in the leaves. To figure out what color a leaf would be without the dominant chlorophyll color, we can separate the colors by doing this science experiment.

This experiment is very simple and you likely already have everything you need:


3 leaves (from the same tree)

Rubbing Alcohol


Plastic baggie (or plastic wrap)

Paper Coffee Filter

Small bowl or pan


1. Have your child break the leaves into tiny pieces and put in the jar.

2. Pour rubbing alcohol over the leaves until they are just covered.

3. Mash and stir the leaves into the rubbing alcohol until the alcohol turns slightly green. Really give it a good mashing – this is key.

4. Cover the jar with the baggie or plastic wrap and place the jar in a small bowl and pour hot water into the bowl.

5. Leave the jar in the water for 30 minutes, swishing the jar occasionally to stir the leaves a bit. The alcohol should be a very dark green (leave longer if needed). If you can resist, wait even 45 minutes or an hour.

6. Cut a strip in the coffee filter so the strip can reach the rubbing alcohol.

7. The liquid will travel up the coffee filter and the colors will separate as the alcohol evaporates off the coffee filter. Let this happen for about an hour for the full effect. The leaves we used turn to a beautiful yellow in autumn.

So … Why Do Leaves Change Color?

In this science experiment we used the rubbing alcohol and energy (hot water) to separate the colors. You likely saw green, and depending on your leaf type, maybe red, yellow, or orange. As we know, Chlorophyll gives leaves their green color and is so dominant it hides the other colors in the leaves. But in the fall, chlorophyll in the leaves breaks down allowing the other colors to finally shine through and show their beautiful reds, yellows, and oranges

Baking Soda and Vinegar Spray

Cover the tray with baking soda and sprinkle in some glitter. Give your little one a spray bottle of vinegar and show them how when they spray the baking soda, the ingredients react and create glittery bubbles of carbon dioxide!
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2022-2023 Preschool Sign up!

Enrollment for the 2022-2023 school year is open! If your child will be 4 on or before December 1st, 2022 he/she may be eligible.

Head Start and GSRP programs are free to families who qualify and are located throughout Jackson County. Please visit here to view the income eligibility chart, a map of both Head Start and GSRP locations, and the list of income documents that you will need to bring with you in order to complete your application.

To begin the process of applying, please complete the interest form or call (517) 768-5130 to apply over the phone. After completing the interest form, you will begin receiving robocalls and text messages on how to complete your application.

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Jackson District Library

The Jackson District Libraries have many events happening around the community. Click on the link for the calendar of events:

Contact Us

Kelly Sheppard: Great Start/Early Childhood Consultant

Bridget Griffith: Great Start/Early Childhood Coordinator

Kathy Schaefer: Great Start/Early Childhood Support Specialist

Resha Willis: Great Start Playgroups Coordinator