Great Start Collaborative News

Hillsdale County Spring Edition 2018

Great Start Collaborative Updates

Hello! Thank you for joining us for our first digital newsletter, The Hillsdale County Great Start Collaborative is excited to bring you current resources for you and your children. We hope you like it!


We need your help!!! Please go to the Hillsdale County Community Facebook page and vote for the Community Baby Shower. The Community Baby Shower has been selected as one of the finalists in the Love Your Community grant offered through the Community Foundation. One of the major factors in the grant award decision will be the support that we receive via Facebook "likes"! These likes must be recorded directly through the Hillsdale County Community Foundation page. Voting is currently open and is open until March 26th! Feel free to share on your own Facebook page with a reminder that the vote only counts if the "like" is done on the Community Foundation page.

https://www.facebook.com/Hillsdale-County-Community-Foundation-105456042855711/


During the month of March, a handful of parents from the Great Start Parent Coalition will be participating in a Strengthening Families Assessment. The parents are going to have the opportunity to give their honest feedback about their involvement in the Great Start Collaborative and Parent Coalition. The feedback from the assessment will be used to improve our efforts here in Hillsdale County.


The Great Start Collaborative has been working hard on their action agenda:

  • The Pediatric & Family Health and Community Resources subcommittees have recently combined their efforts to plan the Spring Community Baby Shower. This event will be held on April 21st from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. More details coming soon! We have applied for a Love your Community grant from the Community Foundation, which will allow us to plan ahead for a 2019 Community Baby Shower as well. We are waiting to hear the results.
  • The Literacy subcommittee has been ramping up efforts to allow for Book Borrowing Bins to be placed in different community locations. Many parents are involved in the process of reaching out to community agencies, stores and organizations. More to come on those locations in the next newsletter.

  • The Child Care subcommittee has efforts in place to educate the community on the importance of high-quality childcare and early learning environments! In addition, efforts are in place to offer training scholarship opportunities to unlicensed child care providers. As unlicensed child care providers take advantage of these educational offerings, not only are they increasing their knowledge and professionalism, they have the ability to increase their Child Development and Care (CDC) reimbursement rate by achieving the Level 2 unlicensed provider status.


We are excited to announce that we have been awarded a second Trusted Advisor Grant from the Michigan Department of Education. This grant will allow the Great Start Collaborative to continue PLAY events in Litchfield, Camden, Reading, and Waldron. Time was built into this grant to allow more efforts to focus on recruitment of families residing in those communities to attend the PLAY events. The grant also includes resources to start and/or expand weekend backpack food programs with many of the local school districts.

Early Literacy



Learning to read and write doesn’t start in kindergarten or first grade.




Developing language and literacy skills begins at birth through everyday loving interactions, such as sharing books, telling stories, singing songs and talking to one another. Learn how adults—parents, grandparents, and teachers—play a very important role in preparing young children for future school success and helping them become self-confident and motivated learners. https://www.zerotothree.org/early-learning/early-literacy

Loving Literacy - Zero To Three Magic of Everyday Moments

Preschool Connect

Tuesday, March 20th, 4:30-6:30pm

30 North West Street

Hillsdale, MI

Come and stop in anytime during the evening. Learn more about what preschool options are available in the county. There will be hands-on activities for your preschool-aged child.

Community Baby Shower

Saturday, April 21st, 10am-1pm

30 South Norwood Street

Hillsdale, MI

The Community Baby Shower is for anyone pregnant or any parents who have a child under the age of one. There will be breakout sessions on different topics, such as Baby Signs, Infant Massage, Safe Sleep, Smoking Cessation, and Healthy Pregancy/Healthy Baby.


There will be community resources, food, cupcakes, games and lots of door prizes. Please register for this event by calling 517-437-0990 ext. 208 or online at www.greatstarthillsdale.com

Great Start Parent Meeting: Keeping your Children Safe at Home and School

Thursday, April 26th, 12-1:30pm

310 West Bacon Street

Hillsdale, MI

Come and learn how to keep your children safe at school and at home. Sheriff Parker will share a presentation that will enlighten parents on things to be aware of that children could be exposed to. Lunch and childcare will be provided and a gas card if needed. Please RSVP at the Great Start website: http://www.greatstarthillsdale.com/upcoming-events.html or email Gina Fosdick: gina.fosdick@hillsdale-isd.org

Great Start Parent Meeting "Keeping your Children Safe at Home and School

Thursday, April 26th, 5:30-7pm

310 West Bacon Street

Hillsdale, MI

Come and learn how to keep your children safe at school and at home. Sheriff Parker will share a presentation that will enlighten parents on things to be aware of that children could be exposed to. Dinner and childcare will be provided and a gas card if needed. Please RSVP at the Great Start website: http://www.greatstarthillsdale.com/upcoming-events.html or email Gina Fosdick: gina.fosdick@hillsdale-isd.org

About Us

The purpose of the Hillsdale County Great Start is to assure a coordinated system of community resources to assist all Hillsdale County families in providing a great start for their children prenatal through third grade.