Starting Strong is an early childhood education program offered by the Bay-Arenac ISD with funding through the Great Parents, Great Start grant provided by the Michigan Department of Education.
Starting Strong provides services to all families in Bay and Arenac counties with a child between the ages of birth to five. The services include interactive play groups, home visiting, family enrichment activities, and enrolled in the Imagination Library program.
Each play group incorporates parent involvement discussions with parent and child activity time to enhance socialization and playful learning. Parents As Teachers curriculum is used each week.
Starting Strong also provides weekly home visits to targeted families who meet specific program criteria. Each visit will blend parenting education, early childhood education and parent child interaction time with focused age appropriate activities. Some home visits may include adult education and tutoring with a goal of enrolling in appropriate classes. This service provides assistance with identifying needs and developing family goals. The home visitor often acts as a community resource and may serve as a contact to other support agencies.
This service is linked to the Imagination Library book distribution program. Starting Strong invites families in Bay and Arenac counties to a night of free family fun two times a year. The activities provide families with age appropriate activities that can be easily incorporated at home and that address all areas of child development.