January/February 2021
Why We Love Pre-Kindergarten
With Valentine's Day coming up, we took a moment to count the many ways we love pre-kindergarten.
Pre-Kindergarten Helps Children. Decades of research have shown that pre-kindergarten makes a difference in the school readiness of children. Not just in the short-term to get children ready to succeed in school, but in the long-term as children grow up, become employed, and contribute to the strength of the economy.
Pre-Kindergarten Helps Our Community. When the Leading On Opportunity Report was released in 2017, pre-kindergarten was identified as one of the most impactful ways we can improve economic mobility in our community. The launch of MECK Pre-K in 2018 was an important step toward ensuring that all children ages birth to five in Mecklenburg County have access to high-quality early childhood education, which in turn strengthens our community!
Pre-Kindergarten Is Here to Stay. Three years after the launch of MECK Pre-K, we are getting ready to take applications for our fourth year. When we think back on the first three years, and the thousands of children who have been through the program who are now in elementary school, it warms our hearts!
We at MECK Pre-K would also like to share the "love" with the many community partners and organizations who have helped us grow over the years. On Tuesday, Feb 9, we will host a Partnering with MECK Pre-K Virtual Meeting to invite even more organizations to become part of our MECK Pre-K family. Read below for more information.
Registration for the
2021-2022 School Year
MECK Pre-K will begin accepting applications for the 2021-2022 school year on March 1. Stay tuned for more details.

If you know someone with a child who will turn four on or before August 31, 2021, encourage them to sign up for our 2021-2022 mailing list so they will receive a reminder when registration is open.
If your child won't be four on or before August 31, you can sign up to be notified when registration is open for the 2022-2023 school year. Join our 2022-2023 mailing list.
Teacher Testimonial
Not only do we love pre-kindergarten, so do our teachers! Here's a quote from Mandy, one of our Pre-K teachers.
"Our goal is to prepare each child for kindergarten and the grades to follow. To give them an idea of what school will be like, its rhythms and routines. To level the playing field so that every child has an opportunity to be successful in the classroom and in life outside of class. Yes, we teach the fundamentals – their ABC’s and 1-2-3’s. But, we do it in a way that develops the whole child, and that helps them flourish in the world beyond the classroom."
Scenes From MECK Pre-K Classrooms
This winter, MECK Pre-K students have been busy learning, growing and having fun while developing important skills for lifelong learning.
Making bird houses and feeders helps students learn about nature and creativity.
When weather permits, outdoor time becomes alphabet time with chalk and a sidewalk!
Tying laces encourages problem-solving and the development of fine motor skills.
Partnering With MECK Pre-K
Virtual Meeting
If you're reading this on or before the morning of Tuesday, Feb 9, it's not too late to participate in our first annual “Partnering with MECK Pre-K” Virtual Meeting with Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio. We welcome participants from nonprofits, social services and other organizations that serve families with children under 4 years old.

We will provide an overview of MECK Pre-K, its benefits and how you can help families participate in this valuable program. It will take place online, Tuesday, February 9, from 11am-noon, via Zoom. Click here to register and participate!
2021-2022 New Site Applications
Are you a child care center interested in having a MECK Pre-K classroom at your site for the 2021-2022 school year?

MECK Pre-K New Site Applications for the 2021-22 school year will be available starting Monday, February 15.

Be sure to check our website for more information about the new site application process.
Safety Reminders
MECK Pre-K continues to follow safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including daily health screenings, increased cleaning frequency, hand washing and mandatory mask wearing.

For full details on these measures, and the latest childcare safety guidance from the state, visit our COVID-19 Page.
Help Spread the Word
About MECK Pre-K!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with our handle @MECKPreK and subscribe to our new YouTube Channel and share our posts! You can also talk about MECK Pre-K on social media using this Social Media Primer in English and Spanish.
Important Community Updates
UNC Charlotte Black Alumni Chapter’s Excellence in Leadership Awards
MECK Pre-K Executive Director Trinisha Dean was recently recognized by the UNC Charlotte Black Alumni Chapter’s Excellence in Leadership Awards. Established in 2011, the awards recognize the accomplishments of alumni and friends who have achieved excellence in the areas of education, entrepreneurship, financial services, health care, philanthropy, public service and STEM.
The award nomination noted that "As a first-generation college graduate, Trinisha has a passion for giving back to disadvantaged students." Congratulations to Trinisha and MECK Pre-K for this honor!
Black History Month
Black History Month, also known as African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by Black Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Several organizations in our community are planning virtual events and experiences to commemorate the month. The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture has virtual experiences available online. Charlotte Mecklenburg Library also has virtual events for all ages. You can find more events at Charlotte on the Cheap.
Dolly Parton Imagination Library
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is all about inspiration and imagination. In 1995 Dolly developed a program so that every preschool child in her hometown would have their own library of books at home that would encourage reading and learning.

In Mecklenburg County our goal is the same; to ensure every child birth through four years old has an opportunity to build their very own library at home. ALL children living in our county from birth through their fifth birthday qualify to receive FREE age appropriate monthly book gifts in the mail.

Enrollment is simple - visit www.meckdpil.org, fill out the online enrollment form, and you’ll begin receiving books in the mail for your little one. If you need help enrolling or have questions about the Imagination Library contact Literacy Coordinator Champagne Selman at cselman@smartstartofmeck.org.
Virtual Public Pre-Kindergarten Options
For families who are looking for a public pre-kindergarten program with virtual instruction, there are two programs available in Mecklenburg County. Bright Beginnings (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools) and NC Pre-K are offering virtual instruction at this time.

Families can visit the CMS website or email prek@cms.k12.nc.us for more information.
704-943-9585 | Email | www.meckprek.org
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