2008.11.19 David Stanifer: Early childhood education

Written by David Green.

Back in August 2005, Governor Granholm called for the creation of an Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC) with the goal of having every young child starting kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed in school. For over a year, the Lenawee County Great Start Collaborative (LCGSC) has been meeting to develop and implement its mission:

“To assure a coordinated system of community resources and supports to assist all Lenawee families in providing a great start for their children from birth to age five.”

This group has attempted to bring all sectors of our Lenawee community together in an effort to better understand early childhood development and the services needed for these young children and their families.

This is a challenging effort in an era of diminishing resources and increasing need for services. As an employee of the Lenawee County Judicial system for the past 37 years, I witness, first-hand, the ever increasing need for services to families that are in crisis, with an ever decreasing availability of services/resources.

We (LCGSC) are not about creating a new wheel. Rather, making our current wheel (early childhood services) as strong, stable, accessible and visible as we possibly can. This task is monumental and will not happen overnight.

It will however, require every aspect of our community to engage.  Measurement of our success will also be a challenge as we work with and support families preparing their young children for 13 years (K-12) of school experience.

We encourage all who have a passion for this age group (0-5) to join us in this effort. A website is being developed and hopefully launched at the end of November.  It is our goal to make this website a great resource for Lenawee County families. Until the website is launched, please contact Margaret Gross, Director, for the project, at 517/424-1000, if you have questions.

– David Stanifer

Lenawee County Probate Court Administrator, chairman of the Great Start Collaborative

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
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    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
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    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
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    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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