Rochelle Habeck & LaShana Jones, Co-Chairs

EC&E 3parts1:16Pictured are some of the participants at the 2nd meeting of the Community Discussion to Build a Local Early Childhood Policy Agenda, organized by the Raising Kalamazoo County Partners (United Way, County Health & Community Services, ISAAC, and others) and held on January 25th.

They are: Sean Fletcher, Parks & Recreation; John Faul, Asst. County Administrator; Rep. Jon Hoadley, 60th District; Mark Mitchell, ISAAC; Terrence Neuzil, County Administrator; Jennifer Nottingham (standing) United Way; Mary Gustas, Comstock Community Center; Sarah Drumm, Great Start Collaborative; Von Washington, Jr., The Kalamazoo Promise; Tim Bartik, Upjohn Institute; Gillian Stoltman, Heath & Community Services. Several members of our Task Force were also in attendance.

At this meeting, 5 issues were prioritized for further consideration and possible advocacy actions. The next meeting will be Monday, Feb 29th at 4pm. Email isaackalamazoo@gmail.com for the location.

Also in January, members of the Task Force conducted 2-on-1 informational and relationship-building meetings with representatives of the following organizations to learn about their work and their views on critical issues in early childhood and/or education: KRESA Early childhood Programs, Seeds for Success collaboration of parent educator programs using the PAT model, Community Mental Health, Communities in Schools, Kalamazoo Public Schools (Special Education and Student Services), and the Learning Network/Kalamazoo Readiness Action Network (KRAN). Copies of the summary report of issues raised in comments from attendees at the RKC/Raising of America event were distributed.

Our next meeting will be Monday night, February 22, 5:30-7:00 pm at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Potential issues for task force action will be nominated by members and discussed. All are welcome!

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