Efforts to create a regional early childhood development network will take another major step forward thanks to a grant from Consumers Energy to the Traverse Bay Great Start Collaborative.
Consumers Energy presented $40,000 to the area Great Start Collaborative at an event today hosted by the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce. Great Start Coordinator Mary Manner said the grant will enable the Collaborative to enlist the Cornerstone Architect team to create a “functional” architectural plan for an early childhood development center and a regional satellite network of early childhood sites at existing facilities including schools and libraries.
“We continue to be a strong supporter of early childhood programs because it is an investment in Michigan and the future leaders of our state,” said David Mengebier, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation.
Manner said Consumers’ assistance will help the Collaborative continue work on its 5 to ONE initiative to develop a regional early childhood development resource network that includes local satellites connected to a regional center, identify potential partners to support the program and create a financial plan for the facilities going forward. The grant will also support the work of a Steering Committee that will head up the effort.
Manner said the Traverse Bay Great Start Collaborative has already surveyed the parents of more than 700 preschool children in the 5-county area to identify challenges to early childhood development, and opportunities to create an effective and sustainable service network.
To learn more about the efforts of the Traverse Bay Great Start Collaborative, click here.