Strolling Thunder in Raleigh this WEEK!

Calling attention to what North Carolina families need to thrive.

It's time for Strolling Thunder!
Thursday, June 7, 2018 from 8:30am – 12:00pm
NC Museum of Natural Sciences (121 W. Jones Street, Raleigh)

The North Carolina Early Education Coalition is bringing babies, parents, and other early childhood advocates to Raleigh this summer to call attention to what babies and families in North Carolina need to thrive. Giving all babies a strong start in life yields significant returns in the long run through more years of education, more employment, and better health as an adult. Join us for Strolling Thunder on June 7th to tell our policymakers it’s time to Think Babies – for stronger families, vibrant communities, and a prosperous future. No experience necessary! You simply bring your baby, your stroller, and your story and The North Carolina Early Education Coalition will do the rest.
In June We Celebrate...

National Fresh Fruit and Veggie Month
It's no secret that fruits and vegetables are an important part of a well-balanced diet. But did you know the US Department of Agriculture has done away with the food pyramid and the amount of fruits and veggies you need might be different than you thought? The recommendation for daily vegetable consumption can range anywhere from one cup for a small child to three cups for a grown man. When it comes to fruit, the USDA recommends a range of one cup a day for small children to two cups a day for grown men. Visit the USDA's website to learn more about the updated food portion guidelines.
Community PlayDaze Event

Kids of all ages can explore, create, and play at PlayDaze
2018 Education Awards

A record number of applicants applied for this year's awards.
Each year we look forward to awarding financial supplements to early care and education teachers and teacher assistants based on educational attainment and retention in their programs. This year, we received 856 applications, the most on record. We are pleased to play a role in rewarding educational accomplishments and encouraging retention of qualified individuals who are teaching our youngest children. Checks will be distributed to all qualifying applicants later in June. If you have questions about this program, please contact Jennifer Stamp .
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I Water

Mecklenburg County's initiative to stay healthy and hydrated
Last summer, Mecklenburg County Public Health , Charlotte Water and Healthy Weight, Healthy Child came together to start the I Heart Water initiative. The goal of the initiative is to lower Mecklenburg County's chronic disease and obesity rates by encouraging residents to drink more water.

Did you know water:
  • Fights fatigue
  • Prevents tooth decay
  • Has zero calories, sugar or fat
  • Helps stabilize body temperature
  • Helps keep your skin clear
  • Helps maintain a healthy weight by keeping your fuller longer
As temperatures rise, it's important to drink water to prevent heat exhaustion and dehydration. Check out this video to learn why drinking the right amount of water is important for your health.
SummerSHARE 2018

Help us give need a vacation this summer.
For many neighbors in Charlotte, summer brings a time of great need; many families in our community rely on resources from local organizations to make it through the summer months. Need does not get a vacation.

SummerSHARE, presented by Bank of America, "gives need a break" by encouraging Charlotte neighbors to shop for the items nonprofits need most.
From July 16-22, we are collecting books for the agencies we serve to be given to young children throughout Mecklenbug County. When you purchase books off our Give Shop Wish List, they will be sent directly to us and we can get them into the hands of our partner agencies and child care programs.

You can get the children involved, too! Children can host a "LemonAID Stand" during the week of July 16-22 and use the profits to purchase books off our Wish List. This is a great way to teach children about caring for others in our community. Be sure to tag us on social media so we can share and encourage other children to host LemonAID Stands, too.

Check out our Give Shop Wish List and help us give need a break this summer.

Triple P Parenting Tip of the Month
Look after yourself. It is difficult to be a calm, relaxed parent if you are stressed, anxious, or depressed. Try to find time every week to let yourself unwind or do something that you enjoy.

Funded Program Spotlight
Lakewood Infant, Toddler and Family Support Program

Using the Parents as Teachers curriculum model, the bilingual parent educator will provide home visits, regular group meetings, annual developmental screenings/functional assessments and referrals to community resources provided to at-risk families as needed.
Click here to learn more about Lakewood Preschool
3115 Kalynne St. | Charlotte, NC 28208
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 families, 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!