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Monroe Smart Start – Working Group
Member Lists and Descriptions

Community Working Group Members
Jeff Baldwin, Boys and Girls Club
Pat Barber, Monroe County Community School Corporation
Gina Forrest, Bloomington Hospital
Cathy Greene, Bloomington Hospital
Stephanie Holman, Monroe County Public Library
Jessica Mace, United Way of Monroe County
Tina Tuley-Lampke, Crisis Pregnancy Center and Hannah House

Community Working Group Description:
The overall goal of this group is that “Community members understand and support the critical development that occurs in children birth to five”.

This group is focused on making sure that community members in general have a good understanding of how they can impact the healthy growth and development of children birth to five. They have taken on the responsibility of making sure that our community members know that the support of children birth to five will have a long-term impact on the child, the family, and the community as a whole, and that we all play a role in providing that needed support.  This group will undertake a comprehensive public awareness effort in order to meet their goal.

For more information about getting involved in this group contact:
jessica@monroeunitedway.org

Early Care and Education
Rose Ellen Adams, Childhood Connections
Magen Bowles, YMCA
Tim Dunnuck, Indiana University Child Care Services
Linda Fields, Campus View Child Care Center
Noel Hanson, Kid Zone
Lucy James, Monroe County Community School Corporation
Kathy Jerke, YMCA
Elizabeth McCrea, Indiana University Speech and Hearing Sciences, retired
Marjie Risen, Ivy Tech
Karen Serfling, City of Bloomington
Monte Simonton, Middle Way House
Christi Smith, Campus Children’s Center
Carol Spencer, Hoosier Courts Nursery School
Stacy Starr Bex, Childhood Connections
Shirley Stumpner, Head Start
Jill Turner, Parent

Early Care and Education Working Group Description:
The overall goal of this group is to: “Increase the availability of quality child care for families of children birth to five”

This group is guided by the premise that the early years matter to children’s later success in life. In order to achieve improved child outcomes, policymakers must invest in improved program standards in childcare. Attaining better results in early education programs involves the use of program standards identified by research as associated with positive child outcomes.
 
These standards include:
      • child-to-staff ratio,
      • group size,
      • teacher qualifications,
      • curriculum requirements, and
      • comprehensive services.

Legislators, families and other community members need to understand what an impact quality child care can have on making sure that children have the skills they need to be successful in school and in life. Monroe Smart Start will work to improve the availability of quality child care by encouraging and supporting early care and education providers to become involved with the “Paths to Quality”, Indiana’s child care quality rating system.

For more information about getting involved in this group contact:
dunnuckt@indiana.edu

K-12 Educators
Becky Dixon, MCCSC
Mary Ducette, WTIU
Cindy Mitchell, RBBCSC
Debbie Prenkert, MCCSC
Cameron Rains, MCCSC
Marilyn Schwartzkopf, MCCSC
Margaret Shields, MCCSC
Bridget Siebert, WTIU
Christi Smith, Campus Children’s Center
Fran Stewart, MCCSC

K-12 Working Group Description:
Goal of this group: “Monroe County adopts a common definition of school readiness” This group is working towards a shared definition of school readiness and a common process for assessing school readiness. This shared definition gives us all a common picture of what school readiness looks like. We all need to know what we are working to support in young children, so that we can be more effective.

For more information about getting involved in this group contact:
crains@mccsc.edu

Parent/Primary Caregiver
Brenda Chapin, The Villages
Lisa Gershkoff, Indiana University
Barb Horvath, Indiana University
Jennifer Hottell, United Way
Traci Mehay, Monroe County United Ministries
Danielle Sorden, Bloomington Housing Authority
Stacy Starr Bex, Childhood Connections
Josh Wolf, Monroe County Public Library
Linda Zager, Ivy Tech

Parent/Primary Caregiver Working Group Description:
Goal of this group: Parent’s nurture their children’s development birth to five to ensure that their children are prepared for successful school experiences.br>
Parents need to understand the critical development that occurs prenatally through age five. This group will work to provide access to formal and informal opportunities for families to support one another and become better informed about the critical development that occurs birth to five. Parenting is a rewarding, challenging and important role that impacts all of us, so it is important to make sure parents have the information and support they need to be effective.

For more information about getting involved in this group contact:
bhorvath@indiana.edu

Physical/Mental Health Providers
Janet Ballard, Head Start
Angela Banks-Stewart, Indiana University Speech and Hearing Sciences
Georg’ann Cattelona, Bloomington Area Birth Services
Jennifer Freeman, First Steps Provider
Maureen Gahan, Milestones Clinical and Health Resources
Barb Hefty-Jones, Head Start
Katie Herron, First Steps
Julie Kathman, Bloomington Hospital
Don Lyon, Indiana University School of Optometry
Brandon Osmon, Osmon Chiropractics
Jeremy Voyles, Independent Therapist
Nancy Woolery, City of Bloomington

Physical Mental Health Working Group Description:
Goal of this group: Children, birth to five, have access to physical and mental health services.  The work of this group began by putting together a definition of physical/mental health for children birth to five, “We understand each child's physical and mental health develops from conception. A child, from the beginning, develops the capacity to experience, regulate, and express emotions; to form close and secure interpersonal relationships; to explore their environment while learning. This all takes place in the context of family, community, school, all of which have cultural expectations for young children. Regardless of ability or disability, this context and these components are key to every child's ability to enter into school ready to grow into a fully formed member of society. When these areas are met for each child, his or her optimal health, mentally and physically, is in place for them to interact with their world in the best possible way. We cannot separate the child and his or her health from the context of family, caregivers, and community.”

This group will work to increase awareness of existing services and thereby increase access. Awareness of and access to physical and mental health services will be enhanced through the development of the Smart Start Directory: your Monroe County guide for birth to five. Visit the website again to check on our progress in making this directory a reality. The development of this directory will also help to identify areas where there are gaps in services so our communities can work together to find ways to provide needed services.
For more information about getting involved in this group contact:
georgann@bloomingtonbirth.org

Marketing Committee
Jenn Hottell, United Way
Michelle Crowe, MAC Marketing Communication, LLC
Maria Heslin, City of Bloomington
Sarah Morin, The Herald-Times
John West, F.C. Tucker/Bloomington

Goal of this group: “Monroe County citizens will recognize Monroe Smart Start - they will understand the mission and their role in making sure all children enter kindergarten healthy, happy and ready to succeed.”

For more information about getting involved in this group contact:
director@monroesmartstart.org

Sustainability Committee (currently being formed, to be expanded)
Barry Lessow, United Way
MaryFrances McCourt, Indiana University
Tina Peterson, Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County

The goal of the sustainability committee is to identify different avenues for financial support to continue and enhance the vision and mission of the coalition.

For more information about getting involved in this group contact:
director@monroesmartstart.org