Profile and History


GSC members, parents and community members gathered for the Appreciative Inquiry process to develop the Great Start Strategic Plan and Action Agenda for 2010-2013.

Groundbreaking Ceremony for Kirtland Community College’s “The Warbler’s Nest” Early Learning and Child Care Center.  The GSPC organized and hosted the ground breaking ceremony with kids activities, prizes, games and free food and beverages.  The event was attended by two dozen children, Kirtland Community College Officials, Parents, Business Members, Police Officers, and staff from The Early Childhood Investment Corporation.


First Annual Great Start Early Childhood Conference at Kirtland Community College.

GSC was awarded  the U.S.. Department of Health and Human Services-Health Resources Service Administration (HRSA) grant in the amount of $247,755 over a 5 year period to  implement Reach Out and Read in 4 of our counties.  Cash and in-kind match required, adding $396,408 to this program over the life of the federal grant.

The Great Start Early Childhood Fund was established to provide Preschool and Child Care Scholarships to low and moderate income families and to support other projects of the GSC.  Monies that were awarded from various foundations as well as The Early Childhood Investment Corporation and the George Johnson Scholarship fund totaled $195,720.  88 scholarships were awarded for the 2011/2012 school year.

Grand Opening of The Warbler’s Nest Early Learning and Care Center.  GSC and GSPC members hosted and organized the grand opening event with children’s activities, prizes and food.  “Fight Crime:  Invest in Kids” State Director, K.P. Pelleran, State Police Officers, Elected Officials, Parents and several children all attended the event.  GSRP grant for $124,000 for 3 years was secured with assistance from the GSC.


Second Annual Great Start Early Childhood Conference at Kirtland Community College.  Community Foundations donated $1895 to make this event possible.

The first Reach Out and Read site was Implemented at Mercy Family Care in Prudenville.

The first of 6 Reading Nooks was established at Mercy Care in Prudenville to support Reach Out and Read.  

The GSPC partnered with Kirtland Community College and The Warbler’s Nest to organize a series of low cost week long Summer Camps at The Warblers Nest.  Themed weeks included “Sports Week”, “Fantasy Week”, and “Ooey Gooey Week”.  Approximately 40 school aged children attended these day camps.

The Great Start Parent Coalition collected over 7500 gently used children’s books to support the Reading Nooks so that EVERY child that visits the Doctor’s office gets to take home a book of their choice.

Bill Millet spoke with community members and business leaders about investing in young children for the future of our economic security and competing in a global economy.

The Great Start Scholarship program generated $46,000.  48 preschool and childcare scholarships were awarded.


Third Annual Great Start Early Childhood Conference at Kirtland Community College.  

Appreciative Inquiry Process to update the Strategic Plan and Action Agenda for 2013-2016

Joint Recruitment and Enrollment Process implemented-Collaborative members, parents and early childhood partners went through a six week process to coordinate a seamless joint recruitment process through Guided Dialogue.  This joint recruitment process will include ALL area preschools (Head Start, Great Start Readiness Program and Private Providers) to be fully implemented for the 2013/2014 school year.  During the process, the GSC was awarded a $20,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Great Start to support these efforts.

In the first quarter of the year, the GSC was awarded $78,000 to support the Great Start Early Childhood Fund.  Funds awarded came from the Consumers Energy Foundation ($20,000), Herbert/Grace Dow Foundation ($20,000), The Kirtland Foundation ($3,000), and The George Johnson Scholarship Fund ($35,000).  Additional monies in the amount of $90,000 was awarded by The Early Childhood Investment Corporation that will go to support scholarships for 3-year-olds.

January-Central Michigan District Health Department awarded the GSC an $18,635 grant titled “Together We Can Transform Central Michigan Communities”.  This grant is to be used to implement programs that aim to reduce childhood obesity through physical activity in Child Care settings and Preschools in Roscommon County.

March-The Pediatric and Family Health Work Group met with the American Academy of Pediatrics for a Federal Technical Assistance Meeting regarding the HRSA (Reach Out and Read Visit) grant.

Secured and Implemented the remaining Reach Out and Read Sites.  Sites that have implemented Reach Out and Read are Mercy Family Care Prudenville (2012), Mercy Family Care in Roscommon and Grayling, Rose City Primary Care, Fairview Primary Care and Mid Michigan Health Park in Houghton Lake.

The GSPC has ongoing book drives, partnering with local businesses.  In the first half of the year, the GSPC collected approximately 1200 books to support the Reach Out and Read reading nook areas in local doctor’s offices.


Our Talking is Teaching Campaign is official. Our official. The Great Start Collaborative and Parent Coalition partnered with Munson Grayling to distribute Newborn Literacy Bags which include a Talking is Teaching onesie, Talking is Teaching tip sheets, board books and Let's Talk developmental calendar. 


The Great Start Collaborative and Parent Coalition receive local support through foundation grants to help continued to fund our ALL EARS Summer Reading in the Mail program which supports literacy and kindergarten transition for our 4 year GSRP students as we ll as our students attending tuition based programs.