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In This Issue:


Is your child learning how to learn? Be a VOICE for children Learn More: The Longview Early Childhood Project

Vaccines and Pregnancy

Spring 2013

what matters.


A word of myself

News from the Early Childhood and Family Services Department at the Midland County ESA By Micki Gibbs Midland Count Great Start Collaborative Director

Dear Readers,

The piece of advice I’m offering myself today is to stop giving advice. As the mom of four boys, I have some expertise on the subject of raising kids, but my poor brother and sister-in-law, who our family sees almost every day, have had to bear the brunt of my unsolicited advice for the past few months. I can’t seem to stop offering them suggestions as we await the birth their first child, our niece, who’s due in June. The parents-to-be have endured everything – dare I say lectures? – from baby supply buying advice: choosing the right stroller, avoiding expensive non-necessities like the internet-enabled video baby monitor that lets doting parents check in remotely from their iPhone or laptop; to pregnancy advice about eating and sleeping and weight gain; to the advice I’m least proud of: the life-as-you-know-it-is-over advice. “You’d better fill-in-the-blank while you still can (e.g. nap, go out to dinner, enjoy getting ready for work without wearing a spit-up covered shirt you already changed three times and lugging nine bags and a screaming baby, who had an explosive diaper emergency two minutes before you were supposed to leave, out the door.)”

My husband Tim has joined in offering the parents-to-be optimism about their future, too. And when the two of us are together, we offer each other smug looks that clearly tell them: you have no idea what you’re in for. Since we’re family and neighbors, we spend a lot of time together, and they regularly see our kids (and us) at our worst. On those ordinary occasions when our four boys are raising havoc - throwing pillows from the couch at each other, hitting me in the forehead with a stray Nerf bullet, or coaxing the baby into the bathroom to tempt him to piddle in the toilet that someone forgot to flush – I can’t help but think my brother and sister-in-law are quietly thinking this will never happen to them.

It’s that same kind of invincible feeling we all had as teenagers: the belief that these things only happen to other people. I’ve come to think Tim’s and my advice-giving is meant to serve the same purpose as all those lectures our own parents gave us about consequences when we were adolescents. The moral is the same: this will happen to you. And there’s as much truth to that moral now as there ever was. Anyone who has kids has been there. We endure face-down screaming fits in the aisles of Target because we refuse to buy toy garbage trucks for our almost three-year-olds. We all do things we never thought we would. Sometimes we bribe our kids. “If you put the truck down and stop crying, I’ll buy you candy.” Sometimes we yell at them. “I can’t listen to another second of this! We’re going home!” And always, we never thought it would happen to us.

When our first son Gabe was born 11 years ago, Tim and I were as clueless as parents come. We were 21-year-old college students who were naive about what it meant to be parents, but we learned as we went. If people offered us advice, I don’t remember much of it, and it didn’t make life with a baby any easier. The hard things were learned along the way. The first time Gabe was sick with a 104 degree fever in the middle of the night, we sat with him wrapped in a blanket, wearing a fleece sweatshirt and a winter coat in an urgent care office. When the doctor saw us with this feverish, bundled up baby, he looked at us like we were morons and immediately stripped Gabe down to his onesie to cool his body temperature. Advice didn’t save us in that situation, but experience did. We never made that mistake again. Just like those long-ago lectures from our parents, I don’t think the current advice we’re offering is really benefitting the recipients, but experience will. Like we did, they’ll have to learn to on the job. They can’t truly envision the adjustments their lives will undergo after their daughter is born until she’s here. My husband’s and my advice isn’t going to prepare them any better for that day. But I hope that when they’re dealing with a colicky baby or a first fever, they know they can come to us, and we’ll be there to reassure them they’re doing things right, tell them they’re not alone, remind them parenting is hard, dirty, relentless, and sometimes at the end of the day rewarding stuff. Really, that’s all the advice they need. Sincerely, Abby McGuire Connecting Families, Editor

Please join the board and staff of the Midland County ESA as we welcome Kim Clark, our new Director of Early Childhood and Family Services. Kim has worked in the early childhood field for more than 20 years and holds degrees in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Administration, and Education Leadership from Central Michigan University, Saginaw Valley State University and Concordia-Ann Arbor. Kim and her husband Jim have two children and a grandchild on the way. She enjoys traveling, reading, and outdoor sports with her family. Kim is excited to share her wealth of knowledge and early childhood experience with the MCESA Early Childhood staff, partners, and community leaders as we work together, stand-

ing on the forefront of endless possibilities for young children and families in Midland County and the Great Lakes Bay Region. Kim may be reached at or at 6315890 x188 beginning March 12th. In addition, please join the entire early childhood community and partners as we bid farewell to Erin Lauderbach. Erin’s passion for young children and families has inspired her to lead Midland County in early childhood systems change and initiatives that will benefit families for many years to come. She leaves behind a legacy of work in the field of education that we recognize in early childhood and as a greater community. Erin is beginning a new chapter in her life with her family. We wish her well in her new adventures!

The cover photo, along with many of the photos throughout this issue, were provided by Rebecca Anlas the owner/teacher of:

Apple Tree Preschool & Child Care

3099 Bullock Creek Drive, Midland, MI 48640 (989) 839-0337

Connecting Families Spring 2013 Table of Contents In This Issue:

News from the Early Childhood & Family Services Department. ....... Page 2 Greetings from the Imagination Library ............................................... Page 3 Great Start Day at the Saginaw Zoo ...................................................... Page 3 Taking the “long view” for young children in Midland ....................... Page 4 Recommended vaccines during pregnancy ........................................... Page 5 Is your child learning how to learn? ...................................................... Page 6 Be a voice for families with young children .......................................... Page 7 Preschool Happenings............................................................................. Page 8 Bullock Creek Preschool Promotes Literacy in the home .................... Page 8 The Heart of the Diaper Bank ................................................................ Page 9 Events at Grace A. Dow Memorial Library ........................................... Page 10 Family Services Articles ......................................................................... Page 11

In Every Issue:

• News: Page 2 • New Parents: Page 3 • Preschool Happenings: Page 5 • Feature: Page 6 and 7 • Community Events: Page 10 • Family Services: Page 11 • Did You Know: Page 8

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Greetings from the Imagination Library... By Holly Karbowski Midland County Imagination Library Affiliate

Hello Midland County families! It has been a busy winter here for the Imagination Library of Midland County. We had a wonderful time attending Kids’ Day at the Mall in January and had the opportunity to meet new families and enroll new children. It truly is the best part about being an affiliate in this program: knowing all of the cool books that are going to arrive in every child’s mailbox! In February, we were invited to attend a YoungLives club meeting which just so happened to be Pajama night and Reading night. It was a joy to talk to all of the moms about what the Imagination Library has to offer their child. For those of you who are unfamiliar with YoungLives, it is a

News program for all high school and middle school girls who are expecting or raising a child. If you would like to learn more information about YoungLives in Midland County, feel free to visit them online at Are there any avid runners or walkers out there? Coming up on April 20th is the annual Eagle by the Bay 5K Run & Walk, hosted by the Bay City Kiwanis Club. All of the proceeds for this race will be donated to the Saginaw, Bay and Midland county Imagination Library programs. Please see the flyer in this issue of Connecting Families for information on how you can sign up or donate. We are also pleased to announce that online enrollment and online donation forms are now available on the Midland County Great Start Collaborative website at Remember, the best way to spread the word about this wonderful program is by word-of-mouth. Tell a friend today how much you love your child’s books and how they too can receive a wonderful collection of books for FREE! Also, please remember if you move within the Midland County limits you will need to change your address with the Imagination Library in order to continue receiving your books. The USPS will not forward your books to your new address. You can do this by visiting the Midland County Great Start Collaborative website or by calling us at 989-631-5892x131. Happy reading!

Great Start Day at the Saginaw Zoo is coming By Micki Gibbs Midland County Great Start Collaborative Director Did you know that April is the Month of the Young Child? The Great Start Collaboratives and Parent Coalitions of Midland, Saginaw, and Bay-Arenac counties invite you and your family to celebrate children and families at the Saginaw Childrens’ Zoo on April 18th for the third annual Great Start Day at the Zoo. This free, fun-filled afternoon will include admission to the zoo, live entertainment, and access to many of the agencies and service providers that support families in the Great Lakes Bay Region. Representatives will be available to answer questions and talk personally with parents about the many free and low-cost services available in our area. Many families are surprised at the wealth of resources and support systems that are located in our region. Once again, the Midland Exchange Club and Mitchell Motorcoach, LTD. are partnering with the Midland County Great Start Collaborative to sponsor free transportation to and from the zoo. Busses will be departing from the Midland Community Center at various times to assist families in attending this awesome event. If you are interested in reserving a spot for you and your children on a bus, please contact the Midland County GSC at 989-631-5890 x173. We are grateful for their generous support of this regional event. Mark your calendars for April 18th. The event is open from 3-7 pm. Carousel and Train rides will be offered at the low cost of $1 per rider/person. Please join us for this exciting event; we look forward to sharing animals, entertainment, and conversation with our young children and their families!

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Taking the “long view” for young children in Midland By Erin Lauderbach for the Midland County ESA The Midland County Educational Service Agency recently purchased Longview Elementary from Midland Public Schools, with the intent of renovating this closed elementary building to create a full service early childhood center. A wide variety of agencies including Great Start Readiness Preschool, Kinder Kare, Mid Michigan Community Action Agency (including Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Early Head Start), and Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency (NEMCSA) Head Start, will be able to work alongside MCESA’s early childhood special education teachers and therapists, Early On staff, and the Great Start staff to provide a full complement of early childhood services for families with young children in the City of Midland. When the renovations are complete, families will be able to access early intervention support, preschool opportunities, any high-quality child care all under one roof.

The Longview Early Childhood Project will provide our community with a unique opportunity to strengthen the connections between many agencies that provide services and supports to families with children prenatal through age five. The concept is to create a “one-stop” resource center that will fully serve Midland families by expanding the capacity of currently existing early childhood programs and services. This project will also substantially increase the capacity to provide programs and services for young children with disabilities in an inclusion environment with their typically developing peers. Bringing a wide number of service providers under one roof will offer a significant savings in administrative costs, as project partners will share resources and work more effectively to provide a seamless service delivery system for Midland families. Additionally, we are excited to have the opportunity to save an existing neighborhood school for use as a valuable and needed community resource!

Generous support for the Longview Early Childhood Project has come from local foundations including the Dow Chemical Foundation, the Dow Corning Foundation, the Gerstacker Foundation, the Midland Area Community Foundation and its Youth Action Council, the Michigan Baseball Foundation, the Midland Kiwanis Foundation, and the Strosacker Foundation. Additionally, the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation has also provided the project with direct grant funds, as well as an exciting matching grant fund opportunity. For every one dollar donated from a broad base of local donors, one dollar will be matched up to $250,000 from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. With this in mind, we would like you to consider joining us in supporting this wonderful early childhood opportunity for local children. Your investment in the Longview Early Childhood Project will help create opportunities for families to access high quality preschool, child care, and necessary early interventions. It is exciting to think that when Midland’s most vulnerable children have their early needs met, they: • Are more likely to enter kindergarten ready to learn and succeed. • Are less likely to require K-12 special education support. • Are less likely to be held back in school and are more likely to graduate from high school. • Are more likely to pursue a trades program or pursue college degrees. • Are more likely to become part of a ready workforce that businesses in the Great Lakes Bay Region will want to hire.

Three Rivers Corporation is overseeing all aspects of the renovation project, and construction at Longview is currently underway. It is anticipated that all renovations will be complete by mid-August, and agencies will be able to move in at that time. Don’t worry, there’s still time to donate to this exciting project even though renovations are already underway. Your donation to the Longview Early Childhood Project is a wonderful way to invest in the future of our community.

To find out more information about how you can make your tax deductible contribution, call the Midland County Educational Service agency at 631-5892 x129 or find us on the web at Together, we can give every child in our community the chance to succeed in school and in life! For more information, contact Kim Clark, the new Director of Early Childhood and Family Services at the Midland County Educational Service Agency at

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New Parents

Recommended vaccines during pregnancy Hollie Barth, RN, BSN Community Health Nurse Midland County Department of Public Health

Did you know that you provide your baby with immunity from certain diseases while you’re pregnant? Not only that, your antibodies will continue to help your baby fight certain infections during his first few months of life. Therefore, it is important to keep up to date on your vaccination before and during pregnancy. If possible, it’s best to catch up on any immunizations you need before becoming pregnant. Some vaccine-preventable diseases can pose a serious risk to your health and that of your unborn baby. It’s important to discuss vaccines with your health care provider during pregnancy, as there are some vaccines that are recommended to be given during pregnancy. Two vaccines that are recommended to be given to pregnant women are Pertussis and Influenza. Pertussis: Pertussis, otherwise known as Whooping Cough, is caused by bacteria that can spread easily from person to person through personal contact, coughing, and sneezing. It’s highly contagious. It can be very serious for babies and can cause them to stop breathing. Hundreds of babies are hospitalized each year for whooping cough, and unfortunately, some die from it. Many infants who get whooping cough catch it from their parents or other family members who might not even know they have the disease. It’s recommended that pregnant women receive a dose of Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) during each pregnancy to protect themselves and their baby. It’s also recommended that all family members and caregivers (like grandparents and babysitters) also get vaccinated with Tdap. Influenza (flu): It’s very important for a pregnant woman to receive the flu vaccine. Pregnant women who get influenza are at increased risk for severe illness and their babies are also at risk. Complications from the flu can include premature labor and delivery, hospitalization, and even death. Infants who are less than six months of age are too young to receive the flu vaccine; therefore it is important that anyone who cares for your baby is vaccinated against the flu so that they won’t spread the flu to your child. Remember to get your flu vaccine every year! There are two reasons for this: First, the protection from the flu vaccine generally lasts from 6-12 months. Second, there are different strains added to the flu vaccine each year depending on which strains are predicted to be most common during each season. Please discuss with your health care provider if these vaccines or others are recommended for you. For more information on any vaccine contact your health care provider or go to

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Looking Toward

Is your child learning how to learn? By Dr. Pamela K. Ecarius for Connecting Families

You probably noticed the accompanying photo of grandparents reading to their grandsons right away. If you know these grandparents, you also know that spending time with their grandchildren is something that they do frequently. And the reason that they are reading to their grandsons is that they value books and want the children to learn to enjoy all that they can find and enjoy in books of many kinds. Because we live in a changing world, these boys will be reading books that are written on paper, as well as books that are on their electronic devices. The form that the book comes in isn’t important, it’s the time taken to share the book that is important. Since the methods of information distribution are changing every day, each of us needs to become a learning entrepreneur. As such, we become owners of our own learning. It is vital and important that we each take charge of our own learning. What kind of a model are you for the young people in your life? Do you continue to learn new information every day? Do you stay current with events around the world? Do you know how to access information from different sources that will allow you to make better decisions, or do you passively sit and let others make decisions for you? Are you involved with the world around you or happy to be compliant as others take charge of your life by default?


In an article in Education Week, called ”If You Were a Learning Entrepreneur,” the author Kirsten Olson states, “When you own something, you are its creator. You are responsible, and your rewards are commensurate with the risks you are willing to take, and the effort you are willing to make.” She continues by reminding her readers that due to technology, the old definition of “school” is evolving into a revised concept. This is making people really nervous, as change usually does. When we deviate from what has always been done, there must be an examination of the rationale for what has been accepted practice, and a rationale for the new

method of doing things. Why are we making the change and what will be improved? As a former teacher and principal, it makes my heart happy to see questions about education that include: “Who are the greatest learners you have known in your life? What made them great? What do you admire about them as learners? How can you adapt these qualities to your own learning projects?” We need to teach our children to search for their own truths, not just blindly accept what others tell them as the truth. Our children need to be information seekers who are then able to evaluate the information they have gathered before making a decision. Who is teaching your child how to make decisions? Learning can be done efficiently or it can be time consuming. Is your child learning to learn – it consists of skills that can be taught. Success is determined by the skills learned at home and at school. Do you help your child learn about his or her surroundings? There are many books at the library that are non-fiction at beginning levels of reading and comprehension that are wonderful to read with or to children. You can then discuss the material with your child so that he or she is guided to ask questions that will lead to more learning. There are also many wonderful materials at the Midland County Educational Service Agency (the ESA) that can be checked out to share with your little one. The Central Resource Center Lending Library is easy to use. Just stop by the ESA at the corner of Jefferson and Sugnet, enter from the parking lot side of the building and ask at the desk for directions. The people at the ESA are friendly and willing to help. You will be giving your child an enriched experience when you share time that is fun and mind expanding. All of this will enrich the child’s vocabulary which allows even more learning. This is a delightful adventure that you can share with the child in your life. As a bonus, you will know that you are improving the future for all of us who will live there someday.

Children’s Futures Be a voice for families with young children By Amy Hovey Parent Liaison

Do you have an understanding of the challenges facing young families in our community? Do you have insight into the issues faced by children living in poverty? Do you know why it’s important that we speak up and share our experiences and advocate for ourselves, our children and others in our community? I thought I had a good understanding of issues faced by families living in poverty until I attended a poverty simulation.

Parent Coalition Meeting Dates: All meetings include childcare and dinner

Held in Midland at Kinder Kare from 5:30 – 7:00 • March 19 • April 16 • May 21 Held in Coleman at the Railway Family Center • March 26 • April 23

A poverty simulation is designed so that participants can increase their understanding of challenges faced by families living in poverty. To assume that the experience makes you an expert on poverty or that you now know what it’s like to worry about losing your home or where you next meal is coming from is preposterous, but it does change your understanding and it certainly had an effect on mine.

I thought I understood what it meant to be poor. In the course of my life, I’ve been a struggling college student and a single mom with limited job skills. I’ve lived on a tight budget, received a disconnect notice or two and been late in paying a bill. Among the many things the poverty simulation taught me was the need to be thankful for the abundance my family has and the need that exists to step up and help others. The simulation brought many people, parents, service providers, politicians and others together and placed us into pretend families with new identities. At first this was fun and exciting and the room was filled with anticipation. I found myself in a long term marriage with three children. My oldest child was sixteen and pregnant. We were home owners and a two car family. My new husband had been successfully employed and was college-educated. Through no fault of his own, he had lost his job and the unemployment had run out. We were now reliant upon my meager wages earned as a clerical support staff. I thought to myself, this is an unfortunate situation many of us could find ourselves in. We quickly moved through four weeks of simulated life. At first it was fun. I went to work, the kids to school and my unemployed husband searched for a job and sought out the agency support we needed to feed our family, pay our bills and care for our children. At the end of the first week my husband had failed to accomplish all that he said he would. He didn’t have a job, we did not qualify for public assistance, lines were long, forms were complicated and time consuming, transportation was costly, we were late on our bills and in danger of having our home foreclosed on, but it was still a game. By the end of the third week it was no longer a game.

We had received a foreclosure notice and my daughter had stolen from another family to come up with the needed funds to keep our home. I wasn’t happy, but what could I do with the alternative being homelessness. I noticed that I was becoming increasingly impatient with my husband. Through no fault of his own, my husband was unable to secure the support from agencies that we needed to survive. My daughter dropped out of school to help him. A decision I didn’t agree with, but what could I do, we needed the help. We were making decisions based on how to get through this week and no attention or thought was given to preparing for the future. The stress was building and becoming overwhelming. By week four I was defeated. What did the future hold for my uneducated daughter and my unborn grandchild? What example was being set for my younger children? Would my marriage last? At the end we met in small groups and shared our experiences. We talked about the need to further understand the challenges faced by young families, especially those living in poverty. We shared ideas of how to broaden the foundation laid during this event. It was apparent that parent voice is critical to creating systems that truly meet the needs of families. Service providers truly want to help families, but only through parent voice can they really understand their needs. Parents and individuals concerned about young families in our community must speak up. Our voices cannot be heard if we don’t use them. The Parent Coalition of Midland County is one avenue that parents and other concerned citizens can use to express their voice about available services for young families and children. The Parent Coalition meets monthly in both Midland and Coleman with childcare and a meal provided at each meeting. If a monthly meeting is not for you, there are other ways to interact with the coalition, be involved and be heard. Please call Amy Hovey, Parent Liaison at 989-289-3286 to discuss identifying an avenue of participation with Midland County Parent Coalition to communicate your ideas.


Preschool Happenings

Students learn how to exercise and keep their bodies healthy By Catherine Brennan - NEMSCA Head Start

Our recent unit of study involved exercise and healthy bodies. We discussed what we need to do to keep our bodies healthy and explored different ways to exercise. We had several guests come in and demonstrate types of exercise. Jennifer Page came in and taught the children yoga. Jeanenne Grunchich Heye and Melina Bucci from the Midland Community Center came and taught Zumba Atomic (Zumba for kids). Our final special guest was Greg Crider from the Midland County ESA who put on a Crider Camp. The children had a blast and talked about it for days.

NEMCSA Head Start Meridian students learn astronomy By Dawn Glesner - NEMCSA Head Start

Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency (NEMCSA) Head Start Meridian Preschool Program, had the opportunity to host PNC Banks Growing Up Great Together Under One Big Sky: Big Birds Adventure Mobile Planetarium Tour which provided an age-appropriate introduction to astronomy. Through the lens of astronomy, NEMCSA Head Start inclusion and GSRP preschoolers, who attend programs at the Sanford Early Childhood Center, joined Elmo, Big Bird and Hu Hu Zhu, a Muppet from the Chinese co-production of Sesame Street, as they explore the night sky and took an imaginary trip from Sesame Street to the moon. This inflatable dome travels throughout markets served by PNC Bank to early childhood centers, and offers the planetarium experience to young children who may not have this experience otherwise. Our staff, children and parents all enjoyed this great experience.

Grant provides iPads to preschool students

By Mavis McDaniel-NEMCSA Head Start Midland 2 Inclusion

Community donors have been very generous to NEMCSA Head Start’s Midland 2 Inclusion program. A grant from the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Mu Alpha Omega Chapter was used to purchase two iPads with protective covers for the classroom. There was also an additional purchase of several music CDs to replace some of the records that were being used in our classroom. The children are really enjoying the iPads as they use them to practice new skills. In addition to the grant, the sorority members of Kiwassee Kiwanis of Midland presented a book to each of the children, as well as one for the classroom. This service organization has provided a book for the children for several years as part of their Kiwassee Kiwanis Literacy Program. One member of the organization also comes into the classroom each month to read a book to the children. Thank you members of the Midland community for all you do to help make our program a rich learning environment.

Midland 4 Head Start students go sledding

By Laurie Painter - Midland 4 Head Start Teacher

The Midland 4 NEMCSA Head Start Program brought their two month long study on exercise to a close by celebrating with a sledding party. After learning about all the healthy ways there are to exercise the children got to put their knowledge into practice.

Children explore musical fence By Kristine Walko - NEMCSA Head Start Midland 1

Children from NEMCSA Head Start, Midland 1 program are expanding their love for music by taking it outside. Taking old pots and pans and hanging them from the fence is a great way to explore different sounds. The children love to create their own idea of music and what better place to do this than outside?

Bullock Creek Preschool Promotes Literacy in the Home By Marcy Young, Director/Teacher Bullock Creek Preschool/West Midland Family Center

As an educator in early childhood and a parent myself, I recognize the importance of promoting literacy skills in young children. My staff and I spend much time and effort planning and implementing developmentally appropriate literacy-building activities within our classroom. However, the work that we do with the children while they are in our care is only part of the big picture. We also strive to work closely with our families because they play an important role in the early literacy development of their children. One of the ways that we do this is to have a Literacy Night in our program where parents participate in various literacy stations with their children and all 12th Annual NEMCSA Head Start can in attendance receive a free book. This night has been very successful Literacy Night a success in the past and the families really enjoy it – but we didn’t want to stop there! In order for us to promote literacy as an ongoing process we By Kelly Schram-Scoles began implementing a “Book of the Month” program for our preThe NEMCSA Head Start Preschool Programs held their schoolers. Each child receives one free book a month for the length of 12th Annual Literacy Night Event at the Midland Center for the Arts in March. The event this year was titled “Bedtime the school year. With each book we also include monthly literacy tips Stories,” and the children were invited to wear their favorite for parents that may include, but are not limited to: - Read with expression, using different voices for different characters. pajamas. This yearly event that is held in the Little Theatre provides over 190 Head Start children and their families an - Emphasize rhythms and rhymes in stories. educational, fun and free learning experience. - Encourage your child to ask questions and make predictions. - Look for books that are about things that interest your preschooler. This experience involves local storytellers along with - Place books in a child-accessible area and give him a chance to songwriters performing on stage interactive stories and choose his own books for story-time. songs for the people in attendance. This year John Searles, - Read stories again and again. Encourage retelling of the story. MCESA Superintendent read one of his own children’s - Take the opportunity to familiarize your child with the alphabet. favorite bedtime stories to the children and families. The 6 Notice when words begin the same way (such as the same letter that NEMCSA Head Start Classrooms also performed on stage begins your child’s name). for their families and friends singing special songs they had - Set a good example as a reader—read every day at home, even if it’s been practicing in their classrooms. Each Head Start Child just a magazine or the local newspaper. in attendance went home with a bag of books for their Snuggle with your child and his favorite blanket or toys as you read; family to enjoy. There were also numerous opportunities make reading a time that you both look forward to spending together. throughout the evening for the adults to win door prizes such as books and tickets to a theatre production. NEMCSA Head Start would like to thank the many gener- Our goal is that our families utilize these free monthly books to help promote early literacy skills within their children while they are ous supporters and contributors that help make this yearly home. I know that we enjoy our read-aloud time with our event such a memorable event for local children and their preschoolers and we hope our families do as well! families.

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The Heart of the Diaper Bank By Debi Keyes Midland County Diaper Bank The President of our Board was asked why she embraces the mission of the Midland Community Diaper Bank. Her response reflects exactly why the Diaper Bank was started. “Because I have been given much, I too must give.” The Diaper Bank was not founded on personally doing without, but thankfulness for all of the blessings that have been given. One-quarter-million diapers later, the Midland Community Diaper Bank continues to touch the lives of many citizens in our community through meeting one small need experienced by the young, disabled, and the elderly.

Since our first delivery in September of 2010: • Over 230,000 diapers have been distributed to 24 Partner Agencies who have provided them to their clients. • Approximately 115 children/adults receive diapers per month.

• An average of 8,000 diapers per month are distributed (Our highest month was November of 2012, over 14,200 diapers!) • The Executive Director of one of our Partner Agencies recently shared that the Diaper Bank has removed the urgency and desperation parents feel when they cannot afford the $80-$100 per month per child, diapers cost. Although we supplement and do not provide all the diapers that families need, our program helps to relieve the financial burden our families suffer. Please meet our Board of Directors who faithfully lead our organization with a heart for helping others. They are the backbone of the Diaper Bank.

Our President, Barbara M. Arndt Swartz (Barb) of Midland, is employed by The Dow Chemical Company and has over 30 years of diverse experience in the professional field of Management and Organizational Development. Barb has worked in the corporate, entrepreneurial, educational and non-profit business arenas. She spends many volunteer hours supporting organizations using her developed business skills. Barb holds a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Management and Bachelor’s degree in Management and Organizational Development from Spring Arbor University. She also holds an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from Great Lakes College. Barb is a professor at Spring Arbor University where she shares her diverse business background within the educational sector. She has been actively involved with the Board of Directors for the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum, Education and Training Connections, and Caregiving Network. Our Treasurer, Anthony Dizon, CPA, is currently an accountant in the Controller’s Office at Saginaw Valley State University. He earned his Masters of Business Administration degree from Northwood University in Midland, MI and his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from San Sebastian College in the Philippines. He also earned his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification in the Philippines

where he worked for 10 years in the audit field. Prior to joining SVSU, Anthony served as adjunct instructor of Accounting, the Business Manager of Great Lakes College and Assistant Coordinator of the Payroll Department at Central Michigan University. Anthony is currently the co-president of the Philippine Association of Northeastern Michigan and volunteers for the Midland Center for the Arts and Habitat for Humanity. Bridget Sadenwater of Freeland, our Secretary, is a Community Volunteer Specialist at United Way of Midland County. By serving as a liaison between United Way, the community, and area nonprofits, she works diligently to promote community engagement and volunteerism. Prior to joining United Way, Bridget worked in Human Resources and Project Management capacities for a variety of businesses and nonprofits. She is a 2007 graduate of Leadership Midland, Chair of the 2011 class, and continues to serve on the Steering Committee. In addition to serving on the Midland Community Diaper Bank Board, other community related involvement includes: Midland Morning Rotary (President 2012-13), ETC Board of Directors, and Zonta Club of Midland. R.L. (Bob) McKellar, MCDB Director, is from Midland and is a graduate of Beaverton High School. He earned his B.S. degree from Alma College. Bob has about 47 hours of graduate work in Chemistry and Biochemistry. He is a registered Medical Technologist with the State of Michigan. He worked at Dow Corning for 39 years in the laboratories and Patent department. In 1974 he earned a Juris Doctorate degree. After 7 years as Corporate Patent Counsel for Dow Corning, he retired at that level. He is now fully employed in private practice as a partner in the law firm of McKellar IP Law, PLLC. Bob was a member of the Bullock Creek Board of Education and the Midland Township Planning Commission for several years. Our newest Director, Tammy Denno, is from Bay City. Tammy is an Insurance Agent with Saginaw Bay Underwriters, where she has enjoyed 11 years of employment. Previously, Tammy was a

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Did You Know

REALTOR with the Saginaw Board of REALTORS where she was a member of the Saginaw Board of REALTORS and later an affiliate member. She was also a member of the Women’s Council of REALTORS and then an affiliate member for 10 years. Tammy is a 2011 graduate of Leadership Midland, and serves the community of Midland as an Ambassador with the Midland Area Chamber of Commerce. Our Executive Director and Founder, Debi Keyes, was led to create the Midland Community Diaper Bank in 2010 from a vision of wanting to help people, and has overseen the growth of the Diaper Bank from its innocuous inception to becoming a staple in the community. Debi lives in Midland. She enjoys her role as an Ambassador for the Midland Area Chamber of Commerce and participates in many community groups and faith based activities. As a team, we are committed to addressing the need for diapers in our community and with your assistance and support, we can accomplish this goal. Some ways you can help are: • Host a Diaper Drive at your Church, business or organization. • Hold a fundraiser. • Volunteer at the Diaper Bank. • Help us to spread the word that families cannot afford diapers and where struggling families can find help with this critical need. For more information, contact the Midland Community Diaper Bank at 989-859-4884, by email: or by visiting us at 503 S. Saginaw Road, Midland, MI 48640. Please join us as we continue to meet the need.

Community Events

Events at the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library 1710 W. St. Andrews Drive, Midland

Spring Storytimes at the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library 1710 St. Andrews St. Midland

In the Story Room BABY TIME (BABIES NOT YET WALKING) This entertaining program introduces infants to books, songs, music, bounces, and rhymes with time for babies to play and adults to visit. Tuesdays at 1 & 2:30PM: March 12, 19; April 9, 16, 23 TODDLER TIME (WALKING BABIES TO 24 MONTHS) This active baby program starts with 20 minutes of adult/child interaction, involving books, rhymes, music and more, followed by 20 minutes of social time for babies to play and adults to visit. Tuesdays at 9:45 & 10:45AM: March 12, 19; April 9, 16, 23 MOVE & GROOVE (AGES 2-6) Come shake your sillies out! Join us for a fun-filled program with action songs, fingerplays, movement activities, and dancing. Wednesdays at 10:00AM March 13, 20 Thursdays at 10:00AM March 14, 21 FAMILY STORY TIME (FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN) A story time for the whole family! Stories, songs, fingerplays, and fun activities designed for families with young children. Tuesdays at 7PM: April 9, 16, 23

CIRCLE TIME (AGES 2-3) You and your child are active participants in this 30 minute program with fun stories, fingerplays, puppets, songs and get-up-andmove activities. Wednesdays at 9:45 & 10:45AM: April 10, 17, 24 Thursdays at 9:45 & 10:45AM: April 11, 18, 25 STORIES & MORE (AGES 4 and up) Fridays 2:30PM April 12, 19, 26

All Aboard! Discovery Depot

Children ages 0 to 5 can learn as they play in Discovery Depot, an extension of Beyond Books, Early Literacy Center The Story Room will be set -up for play May 1 through May 31 Monday through Friday: 9:30 AM – 7:30 PM Saturday: 10:00 AM – 3:30 PM Sunday: 1:00 – 3:30 PM

Free Comic Book Day 2013

Saturday, May 4 – 10:00 AM to 5:00PM Drop into Youth Services for a free comic book. Find selections for early readers to teens featuring many favorite characters. Available while supplies last... Happenings Author Visit Lisa Wheeler Thursday, April 18 4:30 PM; Story Room Lisa Wheeler, author of many popular picture books, including Farmer Dale‛s Red Pickup Truck and the Dino–Sports series will present an author talk for preschool to early elementary age children and their families.

Art Show Opening Youth Services Friday, March 22 4-8 pm Come and enjoy the children‛s art show “My Favorite Things”. The art was created by children preschool - 5th grade. There will be refreshments, music and an art project for the children to create. Bring the whole family to this event featuring your youngest members. Join us for a special performance by members of the Midland High School Honors Strings 6:30 to 7:00 PM in the Youth Services Area. The art show will continue through April 30th in Youth Services. Drop in Art “Favorite Things” Youth Services April 14-20 Come create a collage of your Favorite Things during National Library Week. The supplies will be available during all library hours. Great family project!

Great Start Central Resource Center Lending Library Great Start Central Resource Center located at the Midland County ESA offers usage of our Lending Library free of charge to parents/guardians, child care providers and teachers in Midland, Clare and Gladwin counties. The Lending Library is a free educational resource designed to assist in the education of children ages 21⁄2 to school age. The Library offers Experience Bins, Story Stretcher Totes, C.A.R.E.S. Kits, books and videos. Our Lending Library is located at Midland County ESA at 3917 Jefferson Avenue in Midland. For further information visit our website at or call Great Start Central Resource Center at 989-492-7102.

Free child care referrals

Family Services

Are you looking for a child care, preschool, or before and after school care for your child? Well, now you can search for child care anytime, day or night! Visit to start your search! Don’t have internet access? Visit your local library or the Lending Library of the Great Start Central Resource Center located at Midland County ESA at 3917 Jefferson Ave. Midland, MI 48640. For more information about the Great Start Central Resource Center call 989-492-7102.

Midland County Preschool Partnership

The Midland County Quality Preschool Partnership is a collaboration of non-profit organizations and schools offering free classroom-based preschools at 13 locations throughout Midland County. The Partnership members provide free programs for qualifying four year-olds and some three year-olds. Now enrolling children for the 2013-14 school year. To receive a packet with an interest form for your child, please call toll-free 1-866-914-3700 and follow the prompts. Be sure to provide all the information requested including your child’s complete date of birth.

News from your Central Regional Resource Center

The Great Start Central Resource Center is here to meet your child care training needs. The Central Region serves the following ten counties: Clare, Gladwin, Isabella, Midland, Gratiot, Ionia, Clinton, Shiawassee, Eaton, and Ingham. For more information you can log onto the website at or call 1-877-614-7328. Providers living in Midland, Clare and Gladwin counties can call the local office located at the Midland County ESA at 989492-7102.

Attention Child Care Providers: Free marketing for your business

Are you looking for free and effective avenues for marketing your business? You can go to to update your provider profile. In doing so, you will be assured that the information families see when searching for child care is up-to-date and accurate. Great Start Connect is a free, state-wide database, accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, that families are utilizing in their search for child care. Providers can also register for approved trainings through Great Start Connect. If you have any questions regarding Great Start Connect or need assistance in navigating the database, simply call the Great Start Central Resource Center at 989-492-7102 and we will be happy to assist you.

3917 Jefferson Ave. Midland, MI 48640

Toys that Teach

Enter a jelly bean guess for a chance to win a large plush Easter bunny. Saturday, March 23

Children can enjoy an easter egg hunt and receive a discount on one item.

Don’t Know What To Do For Spring Break? Come join us for Craft & Science Days! Craft Day • Tuesday, April 2 • 10:30 am-12:00 pm Science Day • Wednesday, April 3 • 10:30 am-12:00 pm Craft Day • Thursday, April 4 • 10:30 am-12:00 pm On Craft Days, children will make 1 - 2 crafts to take home. On Science Day children will participate in several science experiments. Call to register. $5.00 fee for materials.


Circle Plaza, 3110 Jefferson Ave. Midland, MI Daily 9am-6pm • M&Th Evening til 7pm Sundays seasonal (989) 636-7604

Connecting Families  

Connecting Families

Connecting Families  

Connecting Families