Great Start News

December 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.

TALKING TIPS

Big picture

DID YOU KNOW???

Big picture
Sesame Street: Kids Talk About Holidays

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.
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

THINGS TO DO!

7 Family Time and Learning Tips for the Holidays

The holiday season provides great opportunities to expose children to new ideas and information, reinforce skills and knowledge, and encourage creativity, which supports their success in school.

As you are shopping, baking and celebrating special traditions, here are some ideas to mix quality time with learning:

Create a Budget — Encourage your kids to write a list of the people they want to buy gifts for. Then have them allocate a certain amount for each person on their list. While shopping for gifts, help your kids keep track of spending and their remaining budget.

Cook Together — Include your children in meal prep and baking for holiday gatherings. It’s a great way to have fun and teach kids about cooking and nutrition. While you’re cooking, you can practice math and reading skills—and demonstrate cool science concepts through various cooking techniques.

Make Holiday Greeting Cards and Gifts — Have your kids write holiday cards or letters to family and friends. It’s a great opportunity for children to practice their handwriting, as well as their grammar, spelling and creative writing skills. Also, making gifts at home is a way to encourage creativity.

Explore Your City — When you feel a bit of cabin fever, plan a family outing. Many local parks and zoos feature light displays and other festivities to celebrate the season. You can also visit a local museum and historic sites, or see a play at a local theater.

Play Games — Playing board and trivia games during holiday get-togethers is a good way to enjoy quality time together. Look for ideas online. There are a variety of games—for all ages—that are fun and educational as well.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors — Play with your kids in the backyard or at a local park. If it snows, build a snowman or hit the slopes! You can find fun outdoor games that promote physical activity.

And Read Every Day — Take your kids to the local library and borrow books to read over the winter break. And spend time reading together—it helps children develop their literacy skills and excel academically.

Family schedules can be grueling during the holidays, but remember the most important part of the season is spending time with the people you love. And when you add learning to your quality time, it will enhance the special moments with your children and support their success.

Big picture
Big picture

Celebrating Winter

Cooler temperatures across the country and the first snows of the season in many areas bring about great opportunities to spark our childrens' interest in science. When we use words like snow, ice, melting, freezing, colder, and warmer, we can help children make connections between the weather they observe outside and how a liquid, like water, can freeze, change and become a solid (ice) and melt back to liquid again. Click on the link below for wintry books, experiments, and games to play and learn as you celebrate the season!


https://www.pbs.org/parents/celebrating-winter

LOCAL EVENTS AND PROGRAMS

***OPENINGS STILL AVAILABLE! 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 http://www.greatstartjackson.org/preschoolpartnership 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.

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Jackson District Library

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


https://jacks-cep.bc.sirsidynix.net/events/month/2022-12/

Contact Us

Kelly Sheppard: Great Start/Early Childhood Consultant kelly.sheppard@jcisd.org

Bridget Griffith: Great Start/Early Childhood Coordinator bridget.griffith@jcisd.org

Kathy Schaefer: Great Start/Early Childhood Support Specialist kathy.schaefer@jcisd.org

Great Start Playgroups Coordinator jacksonplaygroups@gmail.com