Each Child. Every Neighborhood.

We are partnering   with Read Charlotte to fight summer learning loss!
Did you know   students who don't read over the summer can fall months behind their peers who do? Just 15 minutes of reading a day can help combat this "summer slide."

We are partnering with   Read Charlotte   to promote regular, active reading throughout the summer months to help prepare children for kindergarten. Here are four easy steps you can take to ensure your child is set up for summer reading success:

  • Sign up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and start receiving free books for your 0-5 year old.

  • Text ReadCLT to 70138 for free tips through weekly Ready4K text messages.

Just in time for Mother's Day!
Can't make the event? Call in a phone order to the South Park store during the event and your order will still benefit us! Call 704-837-7689 to place your order. Click  here   for gift inspiration.
Meck Basics Tip of the Month
Maximize Love and Manage Stress
With your infant (0-12 months):
Have a routine. Have consistent times and ways of doing daily activities like feeding, bathing, reading, and bedtime. Routines help babies and young children feel safe and know what to expect. They also help adults manage stress.

With your toddler (12-36 months):
Offer choices. Offer choices like what to wear or eat, but give a limited number of options. For example, “It’s time for a snack. Do you want an apple or grapes?” 

In case you missed it...
OPPORTUNITY FOR INFLUENCE - At this year's Opportunity for Influence Breakfast, guests were captivated and inspired by keynote speaker Amy Blankson, one of the nation’s leading experts in positive psychology. Amy brought to life recent research that proves happiness fuels success, not the other way around. She taught us about the missing link between prosperity and performance and shared strategies for bolstering resilience in challenging times.

Thank you to our sponsors!
FAMILY FUN FAIR - A little rain didn't stop us and over 30 community organizations from coming together for Family Fun Fair at Johnson C. Smith University. Families learned about resources that are available to them in the community and then stuck around for music, food, games and fun!
Just For Reference
May is Water Safety Month
Many of us battle the summer heat by cooling off in pools, lakes and rivers. To help keep your kids safe this summer, follow these guidelines:
  • Always supervise children when swimming, bathing or playing in water.
  • Wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket if you can't swim.
  • Don't swallow the water and avoid swimming when you have diarrhea.
  • Teach kids to swim- it's the best way to stay safe in the water.

It's that time of year...
...to plan your preschool graduation ceremony! It's hard to believe those little four-year-olds you met at the beginning of the year are now ready for kindergarten.

It's important to celebrate this big milestone and for the ceremony to reflect your center and your children. Check out this great guide for preschool graduations that includes tips for logistics, communications, managing volunteers and even has great song suggestions. Don't forget to send us your photos so we can celebrate with you!
Upcoming Events You Won't Want to Miss!
Ongoing - MECK Pre-K Registration
8:30am-4:30pm, M-F | MECK Pre-K Offices
Come register your 4-year-old before the slots fill up! We will have extended hours (until 7pm) every Thursday in May. Learn More and Apply
May 9 - Kendra Scott Gives Back Event
5:30pm-8:30pm | Kendra Scott- South Park Mall
Enjoy wine, cheese, and shopping just in time for Mother's Day. A portion of all sales during the event goes to support Smart Start of Mecklenburg County.
June 3- Basic Connections and Coffee
8:00am-9:30am | CB I (4020 Yancey Road, Charlotte 28217)
Join us for FREE coffee and a presentation that highlights two programs supporting parents in our community: Meck Basics and Connections Matter.
June 14 - Coffee & Conversation
8:00am-9:30am | Location TBD
Join the Smart Start and Thompson teams as we discuss important topics affecting our community's youngest children.
Funded Program Spotlight
Healthy Families Mecklenburg
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 . Learn More
Q: Where in the world was the Smart Start team last week?
A: Greensboro, NC for the 2019 National Smart Start Conference!
Last week, many of our teammates attended the  National Smart Start Conference  , "the nation's largest conference devoted to early education systems and strategies." We are committed to providing the very best support to our community and this conference provides advanced professional development to help us do just that.

We attended workshops and listened to speakers to further our knowledge in the fields of early care and education, childhood health and development, family support, public engagement, fundraising, management, leadership and more.
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!
Join us, we're social!