Raising Awareness of The Importance of Early Childhood Development through a Spring Campaign

May 2024

The Basics Mecklenburg - MECK Pre-K Mural

The Basics Mecklenburg
is a community-based initiative focused on providing parents and caregivers with essential tools and resources to support the healthy development of young children.

It operates under the premise that investing in early childhood development lays the foundation for lifelong success. The initiative offers guidance and information on various aspects of early childhood, including nutrition, physical activity, mental health, and early learning. By empowering parents and caregivers with knowledge and support, The Basics Mecklenburg aims to ensure that all children in the community have the opportunity to thrive from the very beginning of their lives. 

The Basics movement began because of three research-based facts: 

  1. Early childhood experiences have long-term impacts on brain architecture, kindergarten readiness, and lifetime success. 

  2. Cognitive skill gaps between children from different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds are clear in national data long before kindergarten, by the age of two. 
  3. Research on the science of early development provides strong guidance regarding what children need to experience to thrive, instead of falling behind early. 

How Smart Start of Mecklenburg County is Increasing Awareness of The Basics 


In spring 2024, Smart Start of Mecklenburg County launched an awareness campaign to emphasize the critical importance of early childhood development. 

The campaign features strategically placed billboards across key Charlotte zip codes and interactive art installations. These installations, inspired by the publication "Meaningful Relationships" by Cognitive Design, LLC, serve as focal points for engaging families with young children and sparking conversations about early childhood well-being. 

Charlotte is Creative connected the organization with Julia Valle, the artist and visionary behind SALT + LIGHT Creative Co.  

With The Basics' brand guide serving as the point of reference, Julia created a jungle-themed mural, successfully tying all five of The Basics. It's not just a visual backdrop, though. The artwork is also interactive, with each Basic matched with a corresponding card to prompt conversation between parents, caregivers and their children while in the space. 

The Basics Mecklenburg - Spring Campaign

What's Next? 

The first space to feature the mural initiative is the MECK Pre-K registration lobby. Here, the artwork and interactive cards foster meaningful interaction between adults and children while registering for pre-k. 

With the first mural successfully installed, Smart Start of Mecklenburg County looks forward  to installing the second Basics mural in Myers Park Pediatrics. 

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