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 last 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 .

Great Start Day at the Zoo 2016

Thursday, May 5, 2016 from 3 - 7 p.m.

Saginaw Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square

1730 S. Washington Ave., Saginaw

Please Join Us!

Anyone who is invested in the future of our children and our Great Lakes Bay Region is invited to the Great Start Day at the Zoo May 5 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. This eveint is sponsored by Kiwanis International and brought to you by Great Start Collaborative Saginaw County, Great Start Collaborative Bay-Arenac and Great Start Collaborative Midland. It is free admission and $1 Per Ride/Per Person Carousel & Train Rides, No Registration Required.

Early childhood vendors from throughout the region
- Hands-on kids’ activities
- Regional entertainment in the amphitheater, including Tommy the Magician storytelling by Public Libraries of Saginaw and Bay County Library System
- Zoo concessions will be open if you would like to purchase food
- If you have questions or need more information, please contact Julie at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Ruth at 989-399-7453
- Check www.greatstartsaginaw.org for weather condition updates the day of the event

Brought to you by:
Great Start Collaborative Saginaw County
Great Start Collaborative Bay-Arenac
Great Start Collaborative Midland

Event Sponsor:
Kiwanis International

Marketing Sponsor:
My 96.1 WHNN
WIOG 102.5

Welcome Our New Parent Liaison, Farren Samuels

Farren Samuels is the new Great Start Collaborative Parent Liaison.  She was born and raised in Saginaw County graduating from Nouvel Catholic Central in 2005. After that pursued a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration/Marketing from Northwood University.  She lives in Thomas Twp with her son, Dallas, who is 7 with Autism. Her family has used the Birth-3 services which helped her tremendously with the diagnoses of her child and connecting her with other resources in the county.

Farren has 3 years’ experience in marketing for a rehabilitation center that serviced adults and children. She currently holds her Real Estate License that she does alongside of the Parent Liaison role. She has a passion for volunteering especially when it involves women and children. She has been a part of the Junior League of Saginaw Valley for 6 years now. She worked on the committee that has done a Christmas party for the Bay area women’s shelter, stuff the backpacks for low income families, and a fitness day for the children at the First Ward Community Center to name a few.  Farren also has experience being a CASA for the CAN Council where she was a child advocate in her cases.

She is passionate about making changes in the community for families. She strongly feels healthy children, school readiness and parent training is what it takes to move a community forward. She values all feedback and suggestions you can contact her via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by phone 989-399-7458.

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.

Please Join Us


Quick Links

The Great Start to Quality Eastern Resource Center serves Arenac, Bay, Huron, Lapeer, Saginaw, Sanilac, St. Clair and Tuscola counties.


Connecting Families to High-Quality Early Learning and Care


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