Did you know that 85% of a child's intellect, personality and social skills are developed in the first 3 years of life? Since babies don't come with an instruction manual, all parents need a little guidance on how to make the most of these critical years for their children.

Smart Start of Mecklenburg County is partnering with Bright by Three, UNC-TV, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to provide Bright by Text; a text message tips program for parents and caregivers of children under 5 (including grandparents, aunts, uncles, babysitters, and nannies). Messages are targeted to the specific age of your child and include information on child development, early literacy, health, and safety, as well as local events happening in your community. 

Sign up for free by texting " CONNECT" to 274448 
and start receiving messages right away!

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library  Bi-annual Conference was June 20th - 23rd in Pigeon Forge, TN at Dolly's Dream More Resort. Several Smart Start staff attended and participated in a variety of workshops including program research results, fundraising, book selection process and collaborative community and state partnerships. On the first night an exciting announcement was made that the NC Budget included 10.5 million dollars to expand the program statewide over the next two years - currently 40 communities distribute books to children 0-5 on a monthly basis. With the additional funding, more communities can enroll children and existing programs may be able to expand their coverage.

Currently Mecklenburg County has enrolled 3,000 children in the program with the support of private funders; however, we need your help to reach more children throughout the community that do not have access to books. 

Please consider a donation to help  maintain  and 
sustain this program for the  children  of
Mecklenburg County.

Cost To Sponsor a Child

One year  (12 books)  $30

Birth to five years old  (60 books)  $150

Darrell Cunningham  is the Division Director of the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services (DSS), collaborating with faith and community based organizations to support county residents in need of DSS service. He is also a member of the Smart Start of Mecklenburg County Board of Directors.

In addition to being a board member, Darrell created a First 2,000 Days awareness raising opportunities for clients through the Triple P - Positive Parenting Program; by prominently displaying First 2,000 Days information in the lobby of DSS offices and through presentations by local Champions at DSS group sessions.

Darrell believes that "every child deserves the right to enjoy their childhood and learn in a positive educational setting. We should do everything we can to ensure every child experiences a great First 2,000 Days of life."

Smart Start Community Champions  are shining examples of dedication and determination in our community  efforts to fa cilitate the delivery of a high quality, collaborative, accountable system of care, family support, health services and education for every child beginning with birth.
Want less screen time for kids this summer? 
Have them host a LemonAID Stand for Good!
For many neighbors in Charlotte, summer brings a time of great need. Groceries are hard to come by and many families in our community rely on resources from local organizations to make it through the summer months. Did you know that summer is when Charlotte's food pantries become depleted? Need does not get a vacation.
Enter SummerSHARE, which runs July 10-21! SummerSHARE, presented by Bank of America, is an easy way to buy stuff nonprofits need right now to continue their good work. Scroll through products at  summershare.org to learn who needs what and why. Then with a few clicks and a few bucks you can purchase these much-needed items which will be sent directly to the organizations.
This year, there is a way to get the whole family involved. Share Charlotte wants to see LemonAID stands pop up ALL over Charlotte during the next two weeks to support SummerSHARE! It's SO easy and anyone can do it! 
When you have a LemonAID Stand for GOOD, your kids are learning how to raise funds to reinvest right here in Charlotte to strengthen the community. SHARE Charlotte's mission is to build a better Charlotte by uniting the city through GOOD. Being able to lift up and support our nonprofits, who do the toughest work in our community, is the best prize!

Smart Start Healthy Families Mecklenburg program offers first-time mothers individualized, in-home prenatal, parenting, and case management services through their child's first 3 years. The goal is to reduce risk factors for poor health and safety by empowering families, encouraging healthy lifestyles, enhancing family functioning, and improving access to early intervention, health care, and social services.

Smart Start Healthy Families Mecklenburg
249 Billingsly Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28211

Smart Start of Mecklenburg County administers approximately $13 million a year in state and private funds to programs serving children  birth to age five, their fami lies, and their caregivers in Mecklenburg County. 
Thank You!

Thank you for all you do to Ensure that All Children in Mecklenburg County Enter School Healthy and Ready to Succeed!