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Welcome to Great Start Collaborative Saginaw County

There are over 12,200 children under the age of 5 living in Saginaw County. Brain research has shown us that by age 4, 85% of a child's brain is formed.  Those first few years of life are pivotal in shaping a child's future!

The Saginaw Great Start Collaborative is a partnership of parents, community agencies, business leaders, educators, health care providers, faith and philanthropic leaders - all working together and committed to establishing and maintaining a comprehensive early childhood system that addresses all factors that have an impact on a child's readiness for school and life. A priority this year is to reduce infant mortality in our community.

The Annual Meeting PowerPoint details our accomplishments for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.  Our local collaborative is part of a larger state-wide Great Start system.

All children deserve a healthy foundation in life! To learn more or get involved, please contact Julie Kozan at 989-399-7452 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Saginaw Community Foundation highlights the 3-year-old Preschool Scholarship

Saginaw Community Foundation's Annual Report highlights Great Start's Preschool Scholarship. Thank you to the Saginaw Community Foundation for providing us with such a wonderful opportunity to share information on 3-year-old preschool scholarships and why they are so important to our community's youngest. See pages 10 and 11 for the full story!

Please visit Saginaw Community Foundation's Website for more information about all the programs they support.

Great Start Collaborative honors Leaman’s Green Applebarn

with Family Friendly Business Award for June-July 2015


SAGINAW - The Saginaw County Great Start Collaborative is honoring Leaman’s Green Applebarn of Freeland with its Family-Friendly Business Spotlight Award for June-July 2015.
Leaman’s family-owned orchard, shop and farm offer a festive variety of indoor and outdoor activities for all ages and abilities during the summer and fall months.

Great Start is the umbrella partnership over nearly all early childhood initiatives in Saginaw County, with member agencies/programs including Birth to Five, all Saginaw County school districts, child care providers and preschools.

Parents who volunteer with the Saginaw County Great Start Parent Coalition helped choose this award designation, to honor its community service and help especially to young parents.
“Mindful of every opportunity to share the vitality of Michigan farmstead history, they want each person who visits the farm to learn or experience at least one new idea about sustainable living, good eating habits, farming, care of the earth, animals, community outreach and more,” said the parent who nominated Leaman’s.

“This includes hundreds of school-age children who come to the farm and barn on field trips and pick their own apples to see where food comes from. Visitors also enjoy the playground, small animal viewing, hayrides and tasting cider and baked goods. The shop offers affordable handmade wreaths, dried flowers and crafts.”

Great Start Collaborative selects six Family-Friendly Saginaw County businesses or agencies a year. Recipients can include businesses or agencies that reach out to families as customers with special activities, promotions or services or those that support employees with children with benefits such as on-site daycare or flexible hours.
“It is so important that we honor local businesses that truly understand the importance and value of giving children a strong start in life, and helping families to do so,” said Great Start Collaborative Director Julie Kozan. “These children are our future workforce!”

Anyone in the community can nominate a business for the award. Find a submission form on the Great Start Collaborative Web site at www.greatstartsaginaw.org and fill out online or print and mail to Julie Kozan at the Saginaw County Intermediate School District, 3860 Fashion Square, P.O. Box 5679, Saginaw MI 48603.