Each child in every neighborhood.
A lot happened last year!
Here are just a few numbers showing Smart Start's impact on Mecklenburg County in 2018.
Recruiting for Class 2033!
2019-2020 MECK Pre-K registration is now open!
Did you know FREE Pre-K is available for eligible children in Mecklenburg County?
MECK Pre-K is a county-funded program and therefore free for children who qualify. Classrooms are located across the County and are taught by a licensed teacher and teacher assistant.

To apply for the upcoming school year, your child must be age 4 on or before August 31, 2019 and live in Mecklenburg County. Families must show birth certificate, proof of residency in Mecklenburg County, and household income, not to exceed 300% of the federal poverty level.

Help your child prepare for success in kindergarten; enroll in MECK Pre-K today!
Do you know the ABC's of active reading?
Open-ended questions get kids talking. “What do you think will happen next?”

Demonstrating new words builds vocabulary. Don’t just read “whisper” …actually whisper. 

Relating the story to what kids know helps them learn more about the world. “Trixie went to the laundromat. Where do we go on errands?”

Did you know February is Black History Month?
This February, be intentional in your classrooms to introduce children to books written by and/or featuring black men, women and children. For example:

Upcoming Events You Won't Want to Miss!
March 2 - Smart Start Statewide 25th Anniversary Gala
7:00-11:00pm | Marbles Kids Museum, Raleigh
Join us at Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh for an evening of play, entertainment, and the honoring of Smart Start’s 25 years of work to build strong and vibrant children, families, and communities in North Carolina. Learn More and Buy Tickets
March 16 - Teddy Bear Breakfast
9:00-11:00am | Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral
Don't miss out on Mecklenburg County's premier family event for children ages 0-5. Bring your child(ren) out to enjoy a morning of dancing, reading, crafts, breakfast and more! Each child will receive a new teddy bear and an age-appropriate book. 
April 13 - Family Fun Fair
10:00am-2:00pm | Johnson C. Smith University
Celebrate Week of the Young Child with us at our fun, FREE event for young children and their families. Food, activities, music, stories, bounce houses, interactive booths and more! Learn More
Funded Program Spotlight
Charlotte Bilingual Preschool
Charlotte Bilingual Preschool is a 5-star program that provides high-quality preschool education to low-income, at-risk Hispanic/Latino children, ages 3-5. This preschool prepares students for a successful transition to kindergarten and offers parent training and engagement.

Meet the Smart Start Team
Say hello to our Literacy Coordinator, Champagne Selman.
What is your role at Smart Start of Mecklenburg County? 
I have been the Literacy Coordinator for Smart Start and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library for four years. As the Literacy Coordinator, I manage the countywide expansion of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. My role allows me to work closely with several community organizations and agencies, assisting in strengthening their early literacy efforts and representing SSMC on early literacy committees and workgroups throughout the community.
What is one thing you have learned in this job that you wish more people knew?
Many families understand the importance of reading in their child’s development but are unaware of how and where to find the tools or resources needed to enhance or improve what they’re already doing at home. Mecklenburg County provides a plethora of resources for families to ensure their children are successful now and in the future.
What is your favorite thing to do around Charlotte?  
I’m a foodie, so I really enjoy exploring the restaurant scene with friends and family.

What is your favorite childhood book?  
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
FREE Books for children under 5!
ALL children in Mecklenburg County are eligible to receive a FREE book in the mail each month until their fifth birthday. Start building up your child's at-home library when you sign up today!
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