INKSTER, MICH. (June 29, 2016) – Starfish Family Services is pleased to announce that the Office of Head Start (OHS) has awarded the agency approximately $22 million in federal funds over the next five years. The grant enables Starfish to continue to offer quality and comprehensive services to local children aged 0-5 and their families. The new grant expands services to pregnant women and children 0-3 while offering more full-day services for preschoolers. Programming will serve income-eligible children in the communities of Dearborn Heights, Redford, Inkster, Garden City, Plymouth, Canton, Northville and Livonia.
Quality early childhood programming, including Head Start, is proven to have long-term benefit. Studies show that children who arrive at kindergarten ready for school success are more likely to graduate from high school and move out of poverty. Therefore, it’s critical that families facing limited economic and educational opportunity have access to quality preschool services like those at Starfish.
Starfish has extensive experience delivering Head Start programs most recently launching a collaborative platform known as Thrive by Five Detroit – which provides early education services to over 1,300 children in the city of Detroit. In addition, for over 15 years, Starfish has provided Head Start and Early Head Start preschool services in Western Wayne County. The OHS funds allow Starfish to continue to offer these services and support a much needed expansion of services for those aged 0-3 (Early Head Start). Starfish has also added more, aged 3-5 (Head Start), full day classrooms to meet the needs of families in the community who have expressed a preference for a longer day of service.
“We are very excited to continue this foundational work of offering high impact and high quality infant-toddler and preschool services for our families,” said Starfish CEO Ann Kalass. “Our agency’s approach to creating brighter futures for children is holistic. We realize that helping families realize their full potential includes support of parents and caregivers as well as children. Head Start parents will have access to our newly launched Starfish University – a transformational initiative that provides parents with a variety of educational and enrichment opportunities that strengthen families and empower parents.”
Starfish will continue to invest in parent engagement programs, teacher and classroom quality, and the integration of mental health supports into its programming. To learn more about these programs or to enroll your child, please call 1-888-887-9980.
You can download the full PDF here.
INKSTER, MICH. (June 3, 2016) – Starfish Family Services is pleased to announce Starfish CEO Ann Kalass has been appointed to serve on the newly created 21st Century Education Commission, established by Executive Order 2016-6. Kalass is a Northville resident where she serves on the Board of Education.
The 25-member commission includes representatives from the education, business, government, and nonprofit communities with a particular interest or expertise in education. Appointees have been charged with analyzing top performing educational systems and identifying ways the state of Michigan can successfully replicate such systems. The members, proficient in education system design at the state, regional, and local levels, will focus on how to best organize, govern, fund and create a system of public education that leads to academic and career success for Michigan residents.
Membership consists of 16 gubernatorial appointees, four legislative appointees, the State Board of Education president or his designee, and four state department directors or their representatives.
Recognizing that an educated and knowledgeable population is critical to Michigan’s economic and civic vitality, Ann Kalass is eager to work with other Michigan leaders on this critical task of strengthening the state’s educational system for all children.
The complete list of appointees may be found here.
INKSTER, MICHIGAN (May 16, 2016) – Starfish Family Services is pleased to announce that the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM) and its longtime President, Mariam C. Noland, will be the Great Hearts Award Honoree at this year’s Great Hearts Gala to be held on Friday, June, 10th at Eastern Market, Shed 3.
Through its talented staff and longtime leader Mariam C. Noland, CFSEM has brought together organizations as well as community and civic leaders to support critical regional initiatives in areas such as early childhood education, greenways, economic development, and quality of life. Starfish Family Services was one of the first of more than 190 local nonprofits to begin building their endowment with the CFSEM. Since 1991, Starfish has received more than $3.6 million from various funds of the Community Foundation.
“Starfish has benefitted greatly from the longstanding support of the Community Foundation. Mariam is known for bringing creativity and skilled collaboration building when tackling difficult issues facing our community, we are very grateful for her organization’s continued support” said Ann Kalass, Starfish Chief Executive Officer.
This year’s gala has received generous support from the philanthropic community, including gala co-chairs, Lauren and Phillip Wm. Fisher, Allan Gilmour and Eric Jirgens and Lois and Gail Warden. The event will support parent-focused programs, specifically the launch of Starfish University. Starfish University is a transformative approach to providing parents with a variety of educational and enrichment opportunities, designed to strengthen families and empower parents to serve as their child’s best teacher, role model and advocate. According to Phillip Wm. Fisher, “Starfish is an impactful organization that strives to provide families with resources and strategies to accomplish their life goals. I have witnessed first-hand these inspiring stories of partnership and the success we’ve created. Starfish is amongst the highest of my philanthropic priorities, and I encourage you to support our mission of strengthening families to create brighter futures for children.”
Event tickets are $225.00 and include complimentary valet parking, a cocktail reception, plated dinner, live music and dancing. Event sponsorships are still available. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.starfishgala.org.