ISAAC Founders Award — Great Start Collaborative
Every community should have a support system for its children, and we are lucky to have in ours the Kalamazoo County Great Start Collaborative, housed at KRESA (Kalamazoo Regional Educational Services Agency.) The mission of the Great Start Collaborative (GSC) is to assure a coordinated system of community resources and sup-ports to assist all Kalamazoo County families in providing a great start for their children from birth through age five.
This mission aligns with ISAAC's, assuring that all Kalamazoo County children have the necessary foundation to be successful in education and in life--assuring an equal opportunity childhood for every child is truly doing justice. We are proud to call the Great State Collaborative our partner and are grateful for the leadership and dedication of Jacque Eatmon and her staff for this program. Through its systems-building role, GSC has helped create and strengthen networks, through such efforts as the creation of a common pre-school application and coordinated preschool enrollment process in Kalamazoo County. In its advocacy role, GSC has worked with us for policy changes that better support early childhood, and coordinated events such as Star Power, legislative breakfasts and candidate forums. In its partnership role, GSC has worked with many stakeholders through the Learning Network to provide resources and information to families for Kindergarten Readiness.
Together, we have traveled many times with our GSC partners and their parent coalition members to Lansing, held prayer meetings and education summits, to increase state funding for high quality preschool and evidence-based home visiting programs for mothers and infants at risk. Now, we move forward with GSC and other partners here in this room tonight to continue advancing the mission of the GSC--Raising Kalamazoo County together for our future. Congratulations and thank you to the Great Start Collaborative for your achievements.