On rare occasions, we meet and hear from people who by their sheer presence can increase the energy in a room to such a level that many people in the room can feel it. Such was the case with our speaker last week.
That energy-altering speaker was Reverend Jean Overman, a fellow Rotarian from Dearborn, and a Board of Directors member of the non-profit group Starfish Family Services.
Jean explained Starfish’s mission is to strengthen families’ equitable opportunities through early childhood education programs.
Starfish’s emphasis is on strengthening the family unit so that when children are of school age, their toolbox is filled with the needed tool for success.
By the numbers, Starfish has:
16 Centers in Wayne County (2 in Livonia).
430 employees including therapists, social workers, educators, and administrators.
3,000 youth and adults served (ages 0-5 in early education, and ages 0-64 in behavioral health service),.
58% of clients are children, ages 0-6,
87 cents out of every dollar received goes directly for services to Starfish children and families.
With a goal of improving the family life for every member of a young child’s family, they provide parenting skills for parents, and through weekly home visits, they enhance the educational and learning opportunities for preschool children.
Their goal is to strengthen family foundations, grow parent-child relations, promote healthy child development, improve the child’s emotional, behavioral, and well-being, and create a positive and personal network of support.
With all that Starfish has on their plate, it is a heavy lift, it would take a person like Reverend Jean and her 430 Starfish angels to lift it.