The Great Start Parent Coalition Comes to Sparta!

We hosted our first coalition meeting in Northern Kent County at Sparta Baptist Church. Our meeting started off with a fun take on the toilet paper shortage of 2020! Our amazing parent representative, Nicole, led the way as parents and caregivers took as much toilet paper as their heart desired. The twist? They had to share something about themselves for each square of toilet paper they took. This gave the participants an excellent opportunity to learn a little bit about their neighbor! We had families from Cedar Springs, Kent City, Grand Rapids, and even one mom from Hudsonville! Two of the ladies in attendance shared that this was “their night out!”

We provided dinner from Subway and the children in attendance were able to play with play dough and bubbles – which were a huge hit! North Kent Connect was also on site handing out school supplies, which was perfect for families.

Our topic was all about self-care presented by Dr. Marguerite Morgan from Arbor Circle. If participants expected to come to this meeting and be lectured to, they were well mistaken! Dr. Morgan had the participants up and moving around. Even the children got in on the action! There was laughing and overall a great time had by those in attendance. Dr. Morgan talked about the calming effects of lavender, how to breathe deeply for relaxation, and emphasizing the fact that parents need breaks from their children. She discussed how her mother was instrumental in allowing her to have the breaks she needed as she was raising her children.

At the end of the meeting, the adults in attendance received a self-care kit, which included bath salts, lavender soap, and a hand towel that read: Make Yourself A Priority. All too often, as parents, we forget to make ourselves a priority because we are so focused on raising our children, but an important part of self-care is taking care of ourselves too! As a bonus we raffled off Meijer gift cards!

Overall, the meeting was a success and the rain held off just in time for our meeting to end! It was a perfect ending to a great meeting.


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