Saginaw Community Foundation grants $10,000 to support CAN Council’s Great Start University program

In categories: Blog, News Releases

January 17, 2012

Child abuse has been listed as one of Saginaw County’s top health concerns by the Department of Public Health’s Community Health Assessment. There were 1,195 confirmed victims of abuse in Saginaw County in 2009, according to KIDS COUNT Data Center.


One of CAN Council Great Lakes Bay Region’s newest programs, Great Start University, supports parents and caregivers by improving their parenting skills through a 10-week course. The Saginaw Community Foundation recently granted $10,000 to support Great Start University.


“We’re looking forward to growing the program to reach all corners of our county, as well as providing education and support for parents,” said Suzanne Greenberg, CAN Council president and CEO.


In 2010, CAN Council started Great Start University as a pilot project modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone, a project called “one of the most ambitious social-service experiments of our time,” by The New York Times.


“The program utilizes the Parenting Wisely curriculum, which teaches new skills for handling typical child development phases such as parenting your child when he or she interrupts you while on the phone, taking your child to the grocery store and so much more,” Greenberg said. “Frankly, we have so many requests for these classes that we are grateful to receive this investment in providing consistent parenting support across Saginaw County.”


The program is expected to serve approximately 250 parents in 2012.


“Over the last few years, research has shown that the optimal time for children’s learning is birth to age five,” said Reneé Johnston, Saginaw Community Foundation president and CEO. “We feel it’s important to support this program so that the children in our community can be successful through school, college and into their careers.”


Learn more about Great Start University at Information about grants offered by the Saginaw Community Foundation is available at


The Saginaw Community Foundation granted more than $72,000 in December 2011. The next grant application deadline is Feb. 1. The following organizations received grants for projects that affect the Saginaw community:


Underground Railroad – $5,000

Project: Girls on the Run – Securing the Future


CAN Council Great Lakes Bay Region – $10,000

Project: Great Start University


Emmaus House – $10,000

Project: Homes for Hope


Saginaw Choral Society – $5,000

Mozart Requiem and African Sanctus Concert Production


Old Saginaw City – $1,627.87

Project: Saginaw River Walk


Thomas Township Parks Association – $10,000

Project: Roberts Park Expansion


Covenant HealthCare Foundation – $7,500

Project: Mid Michigan Teen Safe Driving Program


Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square – $3,183

Project: Getting Children Back to Nature, Back to School


Major Chords for Minors – $3,350

Project: Establishing a Performance Music & Instructional Library


Saginaw Valley State University – $2,000

Project: Saginaw County Juvenile Detention Center Mural Program


Saginaw Township Community Schools – $3,000

Project: Great Lakes Bay Great Read


Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra – $3,000

Project: Art in the Concert Hall


Chesaning Union High School – $3,027

Project: HD Video and Communications      


Historical Society of Saginaw County – $5,289

Project: Let your Motto be Resistance – Smithsonian Exhibit


Saginaw Choral Society – $1,000

Project: Ah Tempo Senior Citizens’ Singing Valentines

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