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GET INVOLVED

“Each of us has been helped by a neighbor, coach, pastor or other selfless person, so each of us has a responsibility to give back”

Monroe Smart Start Members include parents, grandparents, child care providers, health providers, resource and referral agency, county health department, state and local social services, family service organizations, faith community, university and colleges, museums, businesses, schools, neighbors and other community members who understand how important it is to support the healthy development of our youngest citizens. Membership is open to any organization or individual with a commitment to the vision that all children, ages birth to five, are healthy, well-cared for, and ready to succeed.

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Why should you be involved?

When we work on this together, as concerned citizens of Monroe County, we can make life better for all of us! When people stand together to demand change, things happen.

How can you be involved:

      • As a Parent: Parents are a child’s first teacher. They and extended family and loved
      • ones make all the difference in the life of a young child. Beginning at birth, reading
      • to a child, talking, cuddling, providing proper sleep and nutrition all come together to
      • provide a child better opportunities for happiness and success.
      • As a Community Member: The entire community is responsible for enhancing the
      • physical, social, and cognitive development of children from prenatal care through the
      • age of five in order to make sure all young children enter school physically and
      • emotionally healthy and ready to succeed. It also means making sure that early care
      • and education providers, such as preschools, child care centers and family child care
      • providers have the support they need to help children succeed as they enter
      • elementary school. There is a children’s book, Stone Soup. In this story, a community
      • works together to create a delicious soup, everyone making a small contribution to
      • create something wonderful together. That’s what we can do in Monroe County – work
      • together to be sure young children have the health care, quality child care, and other
      • learning opportunities they need to become healthy, contributing members of our
      • communities.
      • As a School Professional: There is no perfect formula that determines when children
      • are truly ready for kindergarten, because children grow and develop at different rates.
      • Therefore, schools must be ready to meet the needs of each child at their particular
      • stage of development. Schools are an important part of our community. We need their
      • support to provide a positive transition from early care and education into public
      • school.
      • As a Business Professional: Early childhood development is extremely important to our
      • area’s economic vitality. Research has proven time and again that the single most
      • important factor in the economic prosperity of a region is the educational achievement
      • level of its workforce. Ensuring healthy child development is an investment in our
      • future workforce which enables a strong and vibrant local community. One issue
      • Monroe Smart Start will be addressing is increasing the availability of quality child care.
      • Did you know that access to affordable, quality child care provides businesses with
      • considerable benefits:
            o Lower employee turnover
            o Reduced tardiness and absenteeism
            o Higher employee morale and commitment
            o Lower training and recruitment costs;
            o And, increased employee productivity and performance


Volunteer Opportunities

Working Groups

Monroe Smart Start is always seeking representatives from our communities, both public and private, to get involved in carrying out the components of our strategic plan through our Working Groups.

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As a member of a working group, you will:

      • Advise to ensure high quality implementation of each strategy;
      • Advise the development of strong evaluation and accountability measures for each
      • strategy;
      • Act as a spokesperson for Monroe Smart Start; and
      • Advocate for the resources and policies needed to achieve success.

Working groups meet on a monthly basis (or as needed). Representatives from Monroe County, both public and private, are invited to get involved at any time (click to contact)