30th Anniversary

Celebrating 30 years! 

Smart Start of Mecklenburg County (SSMC) is proud to celebrate 30 years of mobilizing resources, forging partnerships, and supporting families to improve early childhood health, education and development. Created in 1993 by Governor Jim Hunt, Smart Start tackled the issue of children being unprepared to start school. Over the past 30 years, SSMC has been a leader in the community for early childhood, helping ensure that all children in Mecklenburg County enter kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed. Today, SSMC continues our mission by investing time and money in local, evidence-based early childhood initiatives, being a hub for research and collaboration to improve the lives of young children and their families, and serving as an incubator and funder of innovative ideas and practices within the birth-to-five space. Please join us in celebrating 30 years by supporting our 30th Anniversary campaign and events, ultimately helping us ensure that all children in Mecklenburg County turn five ready to thrive!
Smart Start - 30th Publication

three ways you can join the celebration

  1. Make a donation and help children turn five ready to thrive.
  2. Become a valued sponsor.
  3. Join Smart Start staff at local venues through the year.

Learn More about our history

Smart Start of Mecklenburg County mobilizes resources, forges partnerships, and supports families to improve early childhood health, education and development and ensure children are prepared for kindergarten. Our four areas of focus are early care and education quality and accessibility, family support, health, and early literacy for children birth to five.

upcoming events

  • Please check back for upcoming events!

thank you to our

30th Anniversary sponsors


Presenting Sponsor

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Featured Event Sponsor

Kaplan - High Resolution Logo
First National Bank

Core Pillar Sponsors


Pearl Sponsors

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Steve and MaryBeth Simon

thank you to our

30th Anniversary donors

Stacy Baker
Berean Jr Academy Preschool

Rapfael and Tenille Banner
Amanda and Michael Beacham
Elizabeth Buckingham
Mike Blackwelder
The Brewers
Shanda Brock-Perry
Denise Carman
Camille Catchings
Janice Chappell

Brad Cohen
Sherri Cowan
Trinisha Dean
Natacha Duggins
DeShazo Family
Catherine Etters
Joanette Freeman
Rita Frye
Rahel Gashaw
Ben Gilman
Tamar Goldblatt
Tamikia Greene
Ryan and Katie Grant
Matthew Hayes
Travis Hinman
Vena Holmes
Jake House
Colleen Jones

Ray Jones
Kelly King
Lexii Louis
Kim Brattain Media
Veronica Kirkland
 Kabalka Family
Mary-Margaret, Ron, and Julianna Kantor
Elaine Liberato Jenkins
Robin Lindsey
Jacqueline O. McKnight
Drs. Shivani and Paras Mehta
Tina Mengiste
Oscar Garcia Menjivar
Amanda Nitto
Latoya Scott
Shannon Sells

Steve and MaryBeth Simon
Ariana Shahinfar
Sharon Spigner
Jennifer Stamp
Stephanie Stenglein

Kru Trivedi
Braxton Winston
Alyssa Wood

Email Tenille Alexander-Banner, Outreach Director, for more information on how to become a valued sponsor.