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THE ORD DIGEST APRIL 23, 2014

MDE Grant Supports Continuation of Great Start Readiness Program at EMU Children’s Institute
Christine Finch

The fine work at the EMU Children’s Institute of Project Director Christine Finch and her staff is again recognized by a Michigan Department of Education grant of $191,775, which continues support for the Institute’s Great Start Readiness Program.

The award comes through the Washtenaw Intermediate School District, with whom the Children’s Institute works, and is specifically for making preschool available to families the year before kindergarten. The funding supports 60 four-year-olds, who otherwise would be at risk of becoming educationally disadvantaged.

“The children receive at least 32 weeks of full-day preschool,” says Finch, who has been the Director of the Children’s Institute for 23 years. “Parent education, family fun nights, parent-teacher conferences, and classroom participation are all a part of this grant.

“For EMU students whose children are in this Program, it enables them to take additional classes and not worry about the cost of preschool. This assists with retention at EMU, and students typically are able to graduate on time or early as a result.”

Under the terms of the grant, EMU, through Finch and the Institute, must ensure that there are sufficient qualified teaching personnel and that the staff meet or exceed all qualifications and training standards required by the Great Start Program.

The preschool staff currently includes teachers Gary Thompson, Heidi Coash, Jennifer Myslinski, Becky Forsyth, Wendy Fritz, and Jackie Swisher. The Program also serves as the only training site for EMU students majoring in Early Childhood Education, all this in line with the Institute’s mission to provide high-quality education for the children of EMU students, faculty, staff, and surrounding communities.

The Children’s Institute is located in the Fletcher Building just outside EMU’s main campus. Donelle Goerlitz is the EMU/ORD Project Officer associated with this Program. To contact Donelle by email, click on the link below:


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Content Posted 04/23/2014 | Design Posted 02/09/2007