Missy Smith is the Parent Liaison for the Great Start Collaborative of Traverse Bay.  A former elementary teacher, Missy has been working with children for over thirty years.

The Great Start Collaborative is part of a national community-based campaign called "Talking is Teaching:  Talk, Read, Sing."  The basic premise is that parents through their words and interactions with their children have the power to build skills in the children that will last a lifetime.
Those of us without young children or grandchildren can help by sharing literacy messages and providing support and specific suggestions to families.  Key messages to families include:
  • Talking, reading and singing every day from birth will help build a young child's brain and help prepare the child for kindergarten.
  • Parents can transform any moment into a meaningful learning opportunity.
  • Encourage bilingualism!  Children who learn more than one language have more active and flexible brains.
  • Acknowledge families' strengths.
Information about community events and activities that promote Talking is Teaching can be found at GreatStartKids.com.