Be Their Hero from Age Zero

Be Their Hero from Age Zero

Be Their Hero is a countywide initiative supported in Monroe County by the Monroe County Intermediate School District (MCISD) and many community businesses and agencies. All Be Their Hero activities are free to the children and families who participate.

Background Information

The early years of life have the most impact on eventual human potential. An infant's experiences actually develop his brain. Sensory experiences (hearing, seeing, touching, feeling, tasting) actually teach brain cells their jobs. A lack of such sensory experiences results in brain cells failing to make connections and eventually dying off.

If a child lies in a playpen all day, he is experiencing a limited number of sensations. He will not have many new experiences through which he can establish new brain connections. These connections must be made in infancy. A person cannot go back and "re-do" these experiences. The first four years of life are when the brain is "built". Babies who have more sensory experiences are able to develop more brainpower.

Another important finding is the effect of a stressful environment on infants and toddlers. Young children exposed to a steady diet of stress lay down abnormal connectors in their brains because of high levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. However, some children from stressful environments are able to "neutralize" their stress through a caring parent or an involved adult. Resiliency has much to do with protective factors like the quality of home life, the parent-child relationship, or another relationship that provides from security for the child.

This is exciting news for parents and others who care for children. There is biological evidence that the environment and nurture they provide for their children can have a powerful impact on the child's developmental potential.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Be Their Hero Summer Camps have been canceled. Please visit the Great Start Parents - Monroe Facebook page for more information.

In the past...
  • 2002 - Dr. Joan Lessen Firestone

  • 2002 - John Colina

  • 2003 - Kathy Smith and Nancy Thompson

  • 2004 - Dan Hodgins

  • 2005 - Chick Moorman

  • 2006 - Jim Gill

  • 2007 - Evie Boss

  • 2008 - MCISD Music Therapists

  • 2009 - Bob Sornson and Cirque Amongus

  • 2010 - Bill Sanders

  • 2011 - Jim Gill

  • 2012 - GEMINI

  • 2013 - Project WILD and the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

  • 2014 - Ann Arbor Hands on Museum and Imagination Station at Celebrate Children

  • 2015 - What Does a Super Hero Mean to You? in conjunction with the Monroe County Library System

  • 2016 - Be Their Hero Parenting Conference

  • 2017 - Be Their Hero Parenting Conference and Summer Camps


Communications Coordinator/ Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent & Board