Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Friday, June 30th Community Fair

** Have you seen that sign and wondered who that organization is and what they really do??  Have you been stressed about your child's anxiety with school, sports or friends and you're just not sure how to help her?  Do you know if she even needs help?  Are you fed up and tired of fighting with your child over a behavior?  Is your family struggling to make ends meet and needing additional support in a tough time?  This event is for you!

We are ready to welcome families to the first of many quarterly Community Fairs.   Community Action Agency and the Great Start Collaborative of Jackson County host these fairs for you and all families in Jackson County.

Lunch is ordered, organizations have been confirmed and childcare helpers are ready to play with the kiddos!  This Community Fair is for everyone whether you have questions or concerns or you just want to learn a little more.  

· Michigan Alliance for Families for Individualized Education Plan (IEP) support, advocacy and education.  If you have a young child who will require additional supports in school do you know what those supports are and how to get them.  Michigan Alliance for Families works with you from the families perspective to help each child develop to their full potential in school.

· Birth to 3 specialists for information about child speech and physical development.  As the parent of a young child you may notice your child doesn't have as many words as their peers or maybe you are concerned with tip toe walking.  Talk more with a specialist to find out more.

· Integro and LifeWay’s Community Mental Health to find out what you need to know about child and adult behavioral mental health.  Are you wondering if your child's mood swings, behaviors and intense feelings are symptoms of something more?  Maybe a family members anxiety is becoming a problem.  This is your opportunity to find to learn more. 

· Family Services and Children’s Aid to tackle challenging behaviors and learn parenting techniques through Nurtured Heart.  If you are not familiar with Nurtured Heart it is time to learn.  Many schools practice these methods which were originally designed for "difficult, challenging or intense" children.  The approach began as a method for treating children labeled as challenging, difficult, or intense – especially those with diagnoses such as ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Autism, PTSD, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and more. The approach is now used successfully in schools, foster-care systems, and communities worldwide to help all children flourish.

· Great Start Playgroups to learn more about free, local playgroups, where and when they meet.

· Department of Health and Human Services is ready to give you the opportunity to talk with someone face to face about the wide range of resources available to families from foster care to birth records to financial assistance.

· Social Security will be on hand for information about who and how Medicare and Disability benefits are granted.

· Center for Family Health is eager to share information about child and adult counseling services in addition to their many health and dental services.

This event is FREE and lunch will be provided at no cost for all who attend. On site, licensed childcare will also be available for all families who attend free of charge.  Please join us and bring a friend or a neighbor who might benefit from one or all of the wonderful programs on hand that are helping support families in Jackson County. 
See you there!



Monday, June 19, 2017

Kids Fest Fun

Kids Fest was held Friday, June 16th, at the American 1 Events Center and Great Start was there!  We were able to speak with many families regarding their current child care options as well as hear any child care questions/concerns they may currently have.  Because one of our goals this year is to begin looking at child care needs within Jackson County in order to help offer more options for families, these conversations will be extremely beneficial.

In addition to our child care discussion, we had preschool interest forms on hand.  Any family with a child that will be age 4 by September 1st, 2017 was invited to complete a form or was given a flyer on how to complete the form online.  A cinch bag filled with different goodies was given to each family that completed the form at Kids Fest as a gift for their upcoming preschooler!



Also at Kids Fest, Jen Ganzel - Parent Liasion for Great Start Families, put together a fun necklace craft for the kids consisting of Fruit Loops and colored noodles.  It was extremely popular and for the entire day, children could be seen walking around with their colorful necklaces or crowns! 

Looking forward to next year!


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Preschool Fair June 29th

The next preschool fair will be held Thursday, June 29 from 4:00-8:00 P.M. at the Jackson District Library Carnegie Branch Auditorium. Over 100 families attended the first preschool fair on Friday, April 28 at Baker College of Jackson.

Families will be able to meet with representatives from Head Start and the Great Start Readiness Programs to complete preschool interest forms and income verification for the fall school year. All children will able to participate in educational activities and four year old children receive educational backpacks that include alphabet charts, reading buddies, and a book: The Night Before Preschool

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Who's who at the Great Start Families Fair

We hope your Memorial Day weekend was full of family, hot dogs, summer fun and parades!  The community parades are such a terrific way to help us remember and honor those who have served our country and those still serving.

We have confirmed all of the guests for the June 30th Great Start Families Community Fair.  Together with Community Action Agency we excited to provide you with a full line up of local resources to learn about and talk to for additional information.

· Michigan Alliance for Families for Individualized Education Plan (IEP) support, advocacy and education.  If you have a young child who will require additional supports in school odds are you don't know what those supports are and how to get them.  Michigan Alliance for Families works with you from the families perspective to help each child develop to their full potential in school.

· Birth to 3 specialists for information about child speech and physical development.  As the parent of a young child you may notice your child doesn't have as many words as their peers or maybe you are concerned with tip toe walking.  Talk more with a specialist to find out more.

· Integro and LifeWay’s Community Mental Health to find out what you need to know about child and adult behavioral mental health.  Are you wondering if your child's mood swings, behaviors and intense feelings are symptoms of something more?  Maybe a family members anxiety is becoming a problem.  This is your opportunity to find to learn more. 

· Family Services and Children’s Aid to tackle challenging behaviors and learn parenting techniques through Nurtured Heart.  If you are not familiar with Nurtured Heart it is time to learn.  Many schools practice these methods which were originally designed for "difficult, challenging or intense" children.  The approach began as a method for treating children labeled as challenging, difficult, or intense – especially those with diagnoses such as ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Autism, PTSD, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and more. The approach is now used successfully in schools, foster-care systems, and communities worldwide to help all children flourish.

· Great Start Playgroups to learn more about free, local playgroups, where and when they meet.

· Department of Health and Human Services  Take this opportunity to talk with someone face to face about the wide range of resources available to families from foster care to birth records to financial assistance.  

Free lunch and on site, licensed childcare will be available for all families who attend.  Please join us
and bring a friend or a neighbor who might benefit from one or all of the wonderful programs on 
hand that are helping support families in Jackson County.   See you there!