2009.11.17 Kay Barber: State budget should show supporty for children

Written by David Green.

It’s the middle of November and the State of Michigan fiscal year 2010 budget has been finalized; there were no winners. The cuts were deep and will affect every one of us.

As a member of the Lenawee County Great Start Parent Collation, I have paid particular attention to those cuts that affect children. Funding for child care, K-12 education, early childhood education and public health programs were among those that saw cuts, and the final list is long and depressing.

This state budget is a reality and as I review this list of cuts I ask myself what do we do now? Two things come to mind:

1. We can come together as a community and support each other. Since I’ve had kids I realize how much truth there is in the saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” Where would we be as moms without the advice of other moms; we seek it at every milestone, big and small.

2. We can continue to let our representatives in Lansing and Washington know how much our children mean to us. I have seen that Lenawee County is a community that cares about our kids. In order for Michigan to have a strong future we need to invest in our greatest asset–our children.

I belong to a group that shares these two views, the Lenawee County Great Start Parent Collation. We are a group of parents that gathers once a month to connect with each other and share our wisdom (whether it comes from failure or success). We have discussions about potty training, preschool and everything in between. We enjoy a brief break from all the responsibilities that comes with being a parent (and childcare is provided).

We also have a passion for advocacy. We have taken trips to Lansing, met with legislators, and written more than a few letters to let those who govern know we want the best for our kids.

If you are like me and care about kids in Lenawee County, I encourage you to join us. Check out the Lenawee Great Start website at www.lenaweegreatstart.org  or give us a call at 517/424-1000. We hope you can join us in making Lenawee County a great place for kids.

– Kay Barber
711 Company St., Adrian

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