3rd Annual One County, One Book Literacy Initiative Launches During Reading Month

8,000 Kent County families receive books and more for March Reading Month!

The Great Start Collaborative and Early Childhood Organizations Partner to Launch the 2023 One County, One Book Initiative to Distribute 8,000 Early Literacy Kits, and 4,000 Digital Literacy Coach Licenses!

The One County, One Book initiative (OCOB) of the Great Start Collaborative is in its 3rd year of a county-wide book distribution to encourage family reading at home in the early years.  Eight thousand families across Kent County are slated to receive books. The 2023 book, “If You Give a Pig a Party” by Laura Numeroff, was selected for its embedded literacy strategies and follow-on series.

“We know that early literacy represents an unprecedented opportunity to bolster literacy and significant brain development in our little ones,” says Chana Edmond-Verley, CEO of Vibrant Futures and vice-chair of the Great Start Collaborative.   “In the wake of COVID, leveraging the purposeful action of parents as their children’s first and longest running teachers and equipping families with books, literacy strategies, and access to digital coaching represents breakthrough action for Kent County’s literacy standing.”

“Distributing 8,000 books and early literacy kits is no small feat,” says Paula Brown, Director of the Great Start Collaborative.  “It truly takes a village to champion the One County, One Book effort. When an entire community comes together for its children, something powerful is going to happen.”

The Nurturing Parent Power workgroup of the Great Start Collaborative leads the OCOB effort.  Among its membership are:  Corewell, Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative, Family Futures, Grand Rapids Public Library, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Great Start Parent Coalition, Head Start of Kent County, Kent District Library, Kent Intermediate School District, First Steps, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Vibrant Futures, and many more.


What:     One County, One Book Initiative: book and literacy kit distribution in Kent County.

When:    March 8, 2023, 10:00am – 11:00am: OCOB Launch. Books and kits will be distributed throughout the month of March and April.

Where:   First CRC for Launch Event (on Franklin and Henry)

How:      Book and literacy kit distribution through partnering organizations, storytime parties at GRPL and KDL, and Playgroups infused with reading, fun, and play at Vibrant Futures and others.


Funding from the Office of Great Start within the Michigan Department of Education supports the implementation of Great Start.