B.R.I.G.H.T. START families:

Happy May!  It is bittersweet that after 20 years I am writing my final Birth-3 newsletter for the school district. We only have 2 Gatherings left here at Jefferson Park School EVER:  the Ice Cream Social and one play group.  I want to thank all of the families who have allowed me into their homes, blessing me with the opportunity to watch your children grow.  It never gets old looking into the eyes of a newborn pondering what their little brain is thinking about, watching a one year take their first step, or a 2 year old finger painting for the first time!  Whether it was being the sounding board as a parent vented in frustration, or the joy heard in a parent’s voice as they shared their little one’s latest accomplishment, it has been my goal to come alongside families working with them to be the best parent they can be, and hopefully I have accomplished that.

A final word of advice: children thrive with love, learn through play, and are more likely to love to read after modeling parents whom they see reading.  All this is free for you to do and priceless are the rewards your child will receive in life from you doing them!

Remember, if you have developmental concerns with your child contact your child’s doctor, Easter Seals, or Child & Family Connections.  You are your child’s first and foremost advocate and the sooner the intervention can begin the better the outcome.

Don't forget to R.S.V.P. by Monday, April 30th for the Ice Cream Social!


Thank you for all the wonderful memories,

 Jo Ellen


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**Beginning Right Inspires Growing Happy Toddlers

The provision of a supportive facilitator to ensure a safe home environment, proper medical care, and fundamentals of the best child-rearing practices. It is a program that is dedicated to meeting the needs of at-risk infants and their families to ensure a safe, nurturing environment.

What is B.R.I.G.H.T. START?

El Paso—Gridley B.R.I.G.H.T. START is a state grant-funded Prevention Initiative  Program offered to children ages Birth—36 months in the Unit #11 School District free of charge to families.  We realize that YOU, the parent, are your child’s first and most important teacher.  Our goal is to provide you with information, ideas and activities that may be helpful in your child’s development. 

We have a variety of Gatherings (play groups and parent programs) that are held at Jefferson Park School in El Paso. We also have Toy, Book and Parent Lending Libraries and a Drop-In Center where you can browse through and take parenting pamphlets on a huge selection of topics. 

Developmental Screenings are done  on an on-going basis  starting at 2 months of age through 36 months and are done either in the home, at Jefferson Park School or mailed to your home  for you to complete independently.  The developmental screenings need to be a key part of your parenting tasks, just like well-baby checks are.  Through these screenings we are able to monitor your little one’s development to make sure everything is on track; and it’s awesome for parents to realize that their kiddo may have conquered more skills then they realized!!                                                    

If you have any questions about the program please give me a call!  If you have friends and relatives in the district give them a call so they can participate as well!  

Jo Ellen Skolek

Birth - Three Prevention Initiative Coordinator

(309) 527-4405 extension 6276







Welcome to the      El Paso-Gridley B.R.I.G.H.T. START Birth—Three website!! As you explore this site you can find the monthly calendar and a listing of Lending library items. Also listed are links to great sites to help you answer developmental questions, health issues, and find great recipes and craft ideas, articles on recalls, and our monthly newsletter ….all this at your fingertips!!

Unit #11 is going green. If possible , please get me your e-mail address for the monthly newsletters!!

An Apple for the teacher...
It's really nothing new.
Except when you remember,
Parents are teachers too!