• News

  • GSRP

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  • Parent and Youth Group in Ewen

      This group is for parents and youths (ages 0 – 5), siblings are welcome.  The group is another way for our children to come together to improve their social skills, work of their large motor development and also a great way to get a little exercise.  It also gives parents the opportunity to get […]

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  • January Newsletter from Great Start to Quality

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  • Mini Family Fun Night

    The Gogebic-Ontonagon Great Start Parent Coalition and Great Start to Quality Upper Peninsula Resource Center present: Mini-Family Fun Night Thursday, January 16th at 4:00 at the Bessemer GOCAA Head Start Children from birth through 3rd grade (and siblings) are invited to attend with their parent(s)/guardian. Children will make a craft. A healthy make and take […]

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  • Five Numbers to Remember About Early Childhood Development

    Getting things right the first time is easier and more effective than trying to fix them later.
    Early childhood matters because experiences early in life can have a lasting impact on later learning, behavior, and health.
    Highly specialized interventions are needed as early as possible for children experiencing toxic stress.
    Early life experiences actually get under the skin and into the body, with lifelong effects on adult physical and mental health.
    All of society benefits from investments in early childhood programs.

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  • Baby & Me Art Class at the DAP

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  • What’s School Readiness?

    This School Readiness Youtube video from Child Trend helps explain what school readiness means and why it is critical to the success of your child.

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  • Fun Ice Cream Social at the Ontonagon Towship Park

      Fun was had by all at the Parent Coalition sponsored Ice Cream Social in Ontonagon. What a beautiful day at the Ontonagon Township Park! Families were able to come and eat ice cream, meet Sheriff Rantala (discuss car seat safety) and sign up for the new GSRP 4 year old program in Ontonagon.  Thank […]

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  • Parent Coalition Hosts an Ice Cream Social!

    The Parent Coalition sponsored an ice cream social in Gogebic County on Tuesday July 16th. Ice cream was enjoyed by many adults and children along with great socializing and play. We had lots of fun toppings to add to our ice cream.   Please look for more ice cream socials to occur this summer in […]

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  • 2013 Family Fun Night Was Spectacular

    On Tuesday May 7 almost 100 families played, learned, created art, and danced around the Ironwood Memorial Building. This year’s family fun night was a huge success. Many organizations set up family-friendly activities, gave away prizes, and shared useful information about community resources.

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  • Family Wins Trike at Parent Coalition Event

    The Great Start Parent Coalition was excited to have over a dozen children and families at the “Get the wiggles out” open gym for toddlers.

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  • Gogebic-Ontonagon Counties GSC and PC Doing More To Help Michigan’s Young Children Succeed

    Parent Leader Angela Foley describes her experience with the GSC and PC, “Being a part of the Parent Coalition and the Great Start Collaborative has been a great experience. I have had the opportunity to share my thoughts and concerns regarding child and parenting in our county….”

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  • Early Years are Learning Years…Make Them Count!

    The quality, quantity and consistency of stimulation determine how the brain connects and functions; this is true for cognitive and emotional development, and the effect is lifelong

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  • “SENSE-ational!” 2013 Early Childhood Conference

    Upper Peninsula Early Childhood Conference Bay College, Escanaba this spring with the theme of “Being SENSE-ational!”. The 29th Annual Conference will be held this year on Friday, April 19th and Saturday, April 20th, with two keynote presentations: Lisa Murphy (otherwise known as the “Ooey Gooey Lady”), and James Coffey, M.Ed with Georgean Johnson-Coffey, M.Ed., whose music can be previewed at James’ website: www.jamescoffey.com .

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  • Our Vision

    We want every child to enter school safe, healthy, and eager to succeed. The Great Start Collaborative is made up of a dedicated group of adults ensuring that this vision is a reality for the young children in Gogebic and Ontonagon counties.

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  • GSC Members Gather for Strategic Planning Retreat

    On Dec. 7 a group of GSC members, including many parents gathered to develop an updated Strategic Plan for the Early Childhood population in Gogebic and Ontonagon Counties.

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  • Friend of Young Children Awards

    This is the second year for the Friend of Young Children award to be given out by the Gogebic-Ontonagon Great Start Collaborative. On Dec. 7 Susan Spaete and Kathy Mell, RN were given the Great Start Friend of Young Children Awards for their many efforts in creating more learning opportunities for young children and their families.

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  • Tom Pease Concert was a SUCCESS!

    On October 26, 2012 over 250 young children, parents, teachers, grandparents, and community members gathered at Gogebic Comminity College to enjoy a concert for early childhood. Children’s musical performer Tom Pease included the entire crowd in on his fun, interactive, uplifting songs. We learned the “8-hugs a day” song, “Love grows 1 by 1,” and even the “Bellybutton song.”

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  • Welcoming Mary Sommer as Parent Liaison

    The GSC Welcomes a New Parent Liaison Mary Sommer   What makes you excited about working with the Parent Coalition? I’m excited to empower parents to be advocates for their children. What is your experience working with families? I’ve been working many years with families and children. I started as a substitute teacher in Gogebic […]

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  • Get Around the Western U.P.

    How do you get around the Western U.P.?

    Chances are that you drive. And if you’re like three quarters of other residents in the Western Upper Peninsula, you drive to work alone. Have you ever wanted a way to get around our area other than driving by yourself? Here you will find the region’s most comprehensive assortment of information on public and private transit, carpooling, and non-motorized transportation.

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  • Great Start Collaborative Commitment to Young Children

    The Great Start Collaborative and Parent Coalition have had a lot of successes in 2011. We’ve created 5 Great Start Family Resource laptop kiosks, with help from the RRC we have expanded early childhood resource libraries to Wakefield Library and Ontonagon Township Library, we held a Early Childhood Expo with over 186 people in attendance, trained preschool teachers on using the IGDI early literacy assessment, held Toddler on the G.O. socializations for children 1-3, increased awareness of the importance of social-emotional health, updated both county resource guides, and much, much more. We’ve also been able to engage more agencies, parents, and caregivers in realizing the importance of school readiness. It was a good year.

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  • Gogebic-Ontonagon Great Start Collaborative Give Out Two Great Start Friend of Young Children Awards

    On December 8 the GSC recognized Lynne Wiercinski and Angie Foley as the two award winners during a by a training by Karen Ray a national author and speaker.

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  • Parents Corner: What can I do to help my child succeed in school?

    Parents often want to know, What can I do to help my child succeed in school? Two recent studies suggest that parental involvement at home may be the answer.

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  • 5 Family Resource Kiosks Available for Families

    The Gogebic-Ontonagon Great Start Collaborative along with the U.P. Regional Child Care Resource Center are now able to offer Great Start Family Resource Kiosks to provide parents with access to early childhood resources.

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  • Great Beginnings Childbirth and Healthy Parenting Series

    Perinatal Education – Great Beginnings Childbirth and Healthy Parenting 1/12/2012 Location: Aspirus Grand View Hospital Conference Room A This Great Beginnings Childbirth and Healthy Parenting Series prepares expectant parents for the delivery and care of their baby and themselves. The class provides information on how to make pregnancy more comfortable, what to expect during labor […]

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  • Great Start Hosts Storytime with Senator

    State Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, got into the Halloween spirit Friday with a little help from some toddlers. Casperson made a trip to the Carnegie Library in Ironwood to read during Story Hour, an annual event open to the public. “Five Little Pumpkins” by Dan Yaccarino was the book that was read aloud. Children attending the event also got to make jack o’lantern pins and have snacks

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  • Fighting the War on Poverty with Early Childhood Education

    This column examines how millions of children living in poverty are falling behind academically and how increasing the availability of early childhood education, or preschool, can help.

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  • New edition of Great Starts Here e-magazine launches

    Pediatric and family health are the focus of the new edition of “Great Starts Here,” a quarterly e-magazine produced by the Early Childhood Investment Corporation.

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  • 2 Parent Trainings Coming to the U.P.

    PAM (Parenting Awareness Month) Conference- Oct. 19 in Marquette & Parents Partnering for Change Conference- Oct. 27 & 28 in Escanaba

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  • HealthyStuff.org: 2011 Childrens Car Seat Findings

    Healthystuff.org releases new test results for a variety of products throughout the year. Our findings section highlights the latest set of test results, discusses overall trends and important findings for each set of products tested.

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  • Governor signs executive order creating Office of Great Start

    Making good on his promise to refashion education in Michigan along a cradle to adulthood model, Gov. Rick Snyder today signed an executive order creating an Office of Great Start within the Department of Education.

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  • Summer Fun Early Childhood Schedule

    It’s summer! Now you’re ready to go out and explore with your young child….but what is there to do around here? Plenty! We’ve got Toddler socializations in each county, story times, music, family events, science, add to that all of the parks and recreational activities! Plus the Parent Coalition has been busily planning a fun […]

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  • “Brain Hero” – A New 3-Minute Video from the Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University

    The Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University has released a new 3-minute video entitled Brain Hero (2011) that adapts the visual sensibility of interactive game models to a video format.

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  • Great Starts Here Online Magazine

    ECIC has launched their first online issue of ”Great Starts Here,” a new quarterly publication to give you added insight into the work of the Early Childhood Investment Corporation and Great Start, Michigan’s nationally recognized statewide initiative to foster school readiness and life success for young children. The stories contained in this and subsequent issues […]

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  • Sheriff Visits Washington School Pre-K Students

    Yesterday, Bessemer School Administrator Mark Johnson, Washington School Head Teacher Gene Goss and Great School Readiness Collaborative representatives Allison Liddle and Patti Witt met with local law enforcement officers, Gogebic County Sheriff, Pete Matonich and Gogebic County assistant prosecutor Tracie Wittla to discuss the impact of Great Start Readiness Program on pre-school children who may be at risk.

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  • May 13 Early Childhood Expo

    Award-winning singer and storyteller Stuart Stotts from Madison, WI will be appearing in a concert in the Memorial Building Gym. There will be one show, at 11 am. The concert promises to be a fun event for young children (ages 1-5) and families. Come prepared to sing, laugh, and maybe even dance. Make sure to […]

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  • April 26- Free Advocacy Training in Hancock

    We are very pleased to be hosting an advocacy and communications training for anyone who is interested in learning more about how the Michigan and Federal legislative process works.

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  • Toddlers on the G.O. Socializations Starting

    Who: Toddlers age 1-3 with Parent/Caregiver

    Why: Your child will get to play, dance, sing, and meet new friends! Play is an important part of creating happy, healthy, children ready to succeed in kindergarten. Social-Emotional health of your child is an important for brain development. Socializations are free and a healthy snack will be provided!

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  • Sandbox Party: Reluctant tourist no more

    GREEN, Michigan — Deciding to go boldly where she had never gone before, seasoned educator Kara Ray packed up the car, along with her three skeptical teenagers, and set out for a radical new adventure.

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  • Educare Schools

    The Ounce of Prevention Fund developed the first Educare school in 2000 in Chicago to prepare low-income children for success in school and life. In 2004, the Ounce and the Buffett Early Childhood Fund created the Bounce Learning Network to launch Educare schools across the country. Each Educare school provides the quality care and early […]

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  • Lt. Gov. Calley: Michigan needs A new attitude toward education

    Ensuring educational success for all Michigan children requires a change in attitude toward education from do-nothing to can-do, Lt. Gov. Calley said Monday.

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  • Free Tax Preparation Sites

    Tax Season is upon us and many citizens are interested in knowing where they can go to receive reliable free tax preparation services. Below is a link to the Earned Income Tax Credit EITC) Statewide website where an excel sheet is housed with all the free tax preparation sites for the state of Michigan. Please […]

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  • Prioritize Early Childhood in 2011!

    View the GSC GO Great Start E-Newsletter.

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  • Kids Getting Too Much Fluoride

    The federal government is changing its recommendation for fluoride levels in drinking water due to concern about fluorosis. A recent study found 40% of adolescents have signs of fluorosis, which can cause white lines or spots on teeth.  Children are getting fluoride from toothpaste and mouth rinses as well as drinking water, which is why […]

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  • GOCAA Head Start Newsletter

    GOCAA Head Start students learned about nutrition, visited a historic theater, met with Santa, and much more.

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  • Drop-side cribs outlawed

    It’s the end of the traditional crib that has cradled millions of babies for generations.
    The government outlawed drop-side cribs on Wednesday after the deaths of more than 30 infants and toddlers in the past decade and millions of recalls.

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  • Parent Coalition Hosts Mission and Vision Training

    What type of community to parents want for their young children to grow? What does a family-friendly community look like? What does your young child need in order to be ready for school?

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  • How to Stretch Your Food Budget

    Many if not most of us are on limited budgets these days. With the economy in bad shape, learning how to stretch your food budget has become imperative.

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  • Bessemer discusses funding of Great Start program

    From the Daily Globe article BESSEMER — The Bessemer school district’s Great Start Readiness Program for pre-kindergarteners is poised for increased funding, though how much, and for how many students, remains in question. In his administrative report to the Bessemer Area Schools Board of Education during its Monday meeting, district administrator Mark Johnson informed the […]

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  • Great Start Collaborative goes the Extra Mile for Children

    Gogebic and Ontonagon counties are at the western-most point of the Upper Peninsula. More than 500 miles from Lansing, the counties are sparsely populated, economically depressed and geographically closer to the capitals of three other states.

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  • Remembering Rural

    I have a special place in my heart for rural communities. You see, I grew up in a very rural area in Huron County. For those of you not from Michigan, it is often referred to as the “thumb”. Much

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  • Free Tax Credit Help for Families

    Did you know that millions of families are missing out on money — potentially a lot of it — every tax season?

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  • Smoke Free Families

    Did you know there is a direct correlation between mothers smoking while pregnant and low-birth weight babies? WHY QUIT? BENEFITS FOR YOUR BABY Quitting smoking during your pregnancy: • Increases the amount of oxygen your baby will get • Increases the chances your baby’s lungs will work well • Lowers the risk that your baby […]

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  • Check out the Child & Family webguide

    The WebGuide is a directory that evaluates, describes and provides links to hundreds of sites containing child development research and practical advice. Topics are selected on the basis of parent recommendations; they cover all ages, from early child development through adolescence.

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  • Great Start Family Resource Library

    Did you know that there are now many early childhood development resources available at your local library?

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  • Ontonagon Play Group

    Friday’s 9:30-11:30am

    During the school year (no playgroup during school vacations or cancellations)

    Location: 615 Greenland Road

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  • Sandbox Party: Candidate Meet & Greet Sept. 20, Bergland, MI

    The Gogebic-Ontonagon Great Start Collaborative is sponsoring this event, because we believe that little children and their families need a big voice in the decisions made at the local and state levels. The meet and greet is an informal, non-partisan event. There will be a brief introductory session followed by time to mingle with the crowd.

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  • Sandbox Party convention draws thousands to MSU

    Several thousand parents, children and advocates for early childhood programs swarmed into the Breslin Center on Thursday for the Sandbox Party Convention.

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  • Gubernatorial candidates set to address Sandbox Party convention

    Michigan gubernatorial candidates Virg Bernero and Rick Snyder will address thousands of parents, grandparents, children and other supporters of state investment in young learners at the Sandbox Party Convention on Thursday.

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  • The Case for $320,000 Kindergarten Teachers

    How much do your kindergarten teacher and classmates affect the rest of your life?

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  • Dr. Beegle Training MTU Sept. 16

    This conference will feature Dr. Donna M. Beegle, a highly experienced national speaker and author, who has worked with many across the nation to make a difference for those living in the crisis of poverty.

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  • Register Now for FREE MSU Preschool Day Camps!

    Let’s Read. Let’s Move. Free Preschool Day Camp on August 16 and August 19 in Ontonagon County.

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  • Michigan Election Information

    Michigan Election Information.

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  • Get Outside Bingo: A Journey into the Outdoors

    Welcome to the Get Outside Bingo Program! This is your family’s ticket to outdoor adventures, right here in the western Upper Peninsula! We’ve developed a fun and exciting program to connect your family to the out-of-doors. Getting started is easy! 1. Complete the Bingo Card by participating in outdoor activities. Complete at least 6 activities, […]

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  • STAR POWER SUCCESS!!!

    In May fourteen people (7 children/7adults) from the Western U.P. attended Star Power: an early childhood advocacy event at the Capitol in Lansing.

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  • Low-Cost and Free Health Insurance

    Are Your Kids Covered? Getting health insurance for your kids is easy, and one of our staff members would be happy to help! Don’t know if you’re eligible? Our staff can find out in less than 30 minutes. MPCA Community Outreach Specialists are stationed across the state, please call or email the Outreach Specialist in […]

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  • Early Childhood agencies come together to make Welcome Newborn Bags for Ontonagon County

    On May 7 at the Gogebic Ontonagon ISD in Bergland, several providers of services to Early Childhood initiative, came together to assemble Welcome Newborn Bags for new parents in Ontonagon County.

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  • Early Childhood Expo was a SUCCESS!

    BERGLAND – Did you know that we have 200 billion brain cells prior to birth and only 100 billion brain cells at birth? Well, evidently that’s just part of the amazing story of brain development in children.  Just one of many interesting facts presented at Monday’s “Early Childhood Expo” held at the Gogebic-Ontonagon Intermediate School […]

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  • Babies Movie In Theatres this Mother’s Day Weekend

    Everybody loves… Babies. This visually stunning new movie simultaneously follows four babies around the world – from first breath to first steps. From Mongolia to Namibia to San Francisco to Tokyo, Babies joyfully captures on film the earliest stages of the journey of humanity that are at once unique and universal to us all.

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  • April Month of the Young Child

    Month of the Young Child® Early Years Are Learning Years™ Each April Michigan celebrates Month of the Young Child® (MOYC®). This is a time when communities and individuals recognize the needs and rights of young children and their families. Since 1971, one week in April has been celebrated nationally as Week of the Young Child. […]

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  • April is Autism Awareness Month

    National Autism Awareness Month In order to highlight the growing need for concern and awareness about autism, the Autism Society has been celebrating National Autism Awareness Month since the 1970s. The United States recognizes April as a special opportunity for everyone to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community. Locally, if […]

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  • Brains need Nature

    Spring is a wonderful time of year to get outdoors. At her presenation in Bergland, MI on Monday, March 15, 2010 Deborah McNelis’ founder of braininsights, discussed how important nature and getting outdoors is to brain development. There’s even a national movement to, “leave no child inside”.

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  • May 19, 2010- STAR POWER in Lansing!!!

    Because you care about Michigan’s youngest learners, you will want to be at the State Capitol in Lansing for the fourth annual Star Power event.

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  • Go Great Start Early Childhood Expo on March 15

    Location: Gogebic-Ontonagon Intermediate School District, 202 Elm Street, Bergland, MI 49910 Agenda: 12:15-12:30 pm ET: Gogebic-Ontonagon Great Start Collaborative Report Release: Planning for Our Children’s Future, Strategic Goals for the next 3 years 12:30- 2 pm ET: Deborah McNelis’ Early Brain Development Presentation on how poverty effects early brain development and how to have a […]

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  • Governor Granholm Releases FY 2011 Budget

    On February 11, 2010, Governor Granholm released her proposed state budget for the upcoming fiscal year (FY 2011).

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  • BREAKING NEWS FOR BABIES:

    President Requests Increased Funding for Key Infant-Toddler Services.The $3.8 trillion budget request includes $1.415 trillion in overall domestic discretionary funding. While the budget request largely freezes domestic discretionary funding for the next three years, it does include funding increases for some programs and services, as well as proposes new initiatives the President would like to see enacted by Congress.

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  • Announcement: Parent Liaison Hired

    Patti Witt of Bruce Crossing has been hired at the Gogebic-Ontonagon Great Start Parent Liaison. Patti is a mother of two children, Gracie and Jacob. She currently works with Ewen-Trout Creek School District’s Enrichment Preschool as the teacher/director and will continue this her work with this position. Patti holds a Bachelor’s degree from Northern Michigan […]

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  • Study: Early childhood programs save MI $1B annually

    Investments in early childhood programs result in savings for taxpayers, schools, the economy

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  • Happy, Healthy, and Ready for School

    Babies are natural learners, picking up knowledge from the day they are born and learning thousands of things by the time they enter school. A child’s parents are an integral part of this process, providing the first “classroom” experiences in the home, the car, the grocery store, and most importantly, the lap. But when it comes to preparing a child for the real classroom, how does a parent know what skills to teach their child to ensure school readiness?

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  • Start Your New Year Off Right…Read to your child

    1. Read every day

    A daily reading routine will give all the readers in your family a chance to read with your preschooler. Dads, moms, siblings, caregivers, and friends can all be a part of ensuring your preschooler gets 20 minutes of being read to each day.
    2. Do things, and then talk about it

    It’s great to offer new experiences to your preschooler, such as a visit to the zoo or museum, but a trip to the grocery store or a neighborhood park can be just as educational. Talk about what you are seeing and ask your preschooler what he thinks of it. When possible, use interesting words to describe what you’re seeing.

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  • Employment Opportunity

    Part-time Parent Liaison – for newly established Gogebic-Ontonagon Great Start Collaborative, an early childhood coalition.  High school diploma required; bachelor’s degree preferred.  Must be parent of a child under the age of 12. Contracted position. Grant-funded position. 10-15 hours per week. Valid Driver’s License and reliable transportation required. Send cover letter, resume, references to Great […]

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  • HOMETOWN CHRISTMAS 2009- Fun for the Whole Family!

    Hometown Christmas in Ontonagon Dec 4-6th.
    Fun for the whole family! Come out and celebrate the season.

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  • First GSC Strategic Planning Retreat a Success!

    On Monday, November 10, 2009 community leaders and parents met to discuss what they would like to see for the future of the birth-five population in Gogebic and Ontonagon Counties.

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  • Stay Healthy Steps…

    For more information on flu symptoms and treatment, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) web site at

    http://www.cdc.gov/flu/takingcare.htm

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  • How to spot a high-quality child care center

    Karen Roback, a specialist for early care with the Early Childhood Investment Corporation, had some tips for participants at the “Rising to the Challenge” conference held today (Friday, Oct. 23) in Farmington Hills. The conference was presented by the U.S. Department of Labor/Women’s Bureau in association with ECIC and Oakland Community College. Roback outlined several […]

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  • Have a good idea to help Michigan?

    By Eric English September 21, 2009, 10:05AM LANSING — The Michigan Chamber Foundation is seeking ideas on how to improve Michigan’s quality of life. The foundation, which is the nonprofit arm of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, has launched a Web site at www.greatideasformichigan.org. “Every Michigander has an opinion about what would make Michigan a […]

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  • Today is National Child Health Day

    Child advocates nationwide are celebrating the 81st annual “National Child Health Day” today (Monday, Oct. 5) with a special emphasis on “medical home.” What is a medical home? Jenny Salesa, a health specialist with Early Childhood Investment Corporation, Denise Sloan, executive director of the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Maureen Kirkwood, […]

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  • GSC Strategic Planning Retreat

    Title: GSC Strategic Planning RetreatLocation: Bergland, MI -ISDStart Time: 12:00Date: 2009-11-09

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  • State Government Shutdown Ends After 2 Hours

    For the second time in three years, state government shutdown briefly in the early morning hours of Oct. 1 after the Legislature failed to present to Gov. Jennifer GRANHOLM even a partial-year spending plan for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 until after 1:30 a.m.

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  • Storyhour & Parent Coalition Meeting

    Title: Storyhour & Parent Coalition Meeting Location: Bessemer Library Description: Bessemer Library Halloween Story Hour Event – All PC members welcome. Open to the public. Enjoy a story and meet the faces of the PC and find out how you can get involved. Start Time: 5:30 Date: 2009-10-12 End Time: 7

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  • Great Start Collaborative presents stark numbers- Daily Globe

    9/24/2009 11:51:00 PM Email this article • Print this article BESSEMER — Twenty-six percent of pregnant women in Gogebic County and 35 percent in Ontonagon County smoke cigarettes, according to a recently released Community Report 2009 by the Great Start Collaborative. Allison Liddle, GSC coordinator, presented the report to the Gogebic County Commissioners at their […]

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