A new public engagement initiative titled Smart Investing: Communities Thrive When Children Thrive begins this month to establish what North Carolina communities want for their youngest children and the future of the state. Funded by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and with participation from Lt. Governor Walter Dalton and Smart Start, Smart Investing brings together a diverse mix of citizens to begin a new dialogue about early education and children’s health in North Carolina.
Smart Start’s 77 partnerships will leverage their networks to assemble local parents, business leaders, health care providers, education professionals and policy makers representing every county in the state. The groups will participate in forums and summits over the next several months to determine children’s needs in every region and the state as a whole.
“I know times are tough, but it’s critical that we invest in our children because they are the future of this state,” said Dalton. “This initiative represents a wonderful opportunity to get North Carolina citizens more engaged and involved in issues affecting young children and to strengthen our communities at the same time.”
Eight forums will take place this fall through winter in:
- Wilkesboro – Thursday, November 17
- Waynesville – Thursday, November 19
- Rocky Mount – Tuesday, December 1
- Fayetteville – Tuesday, December 8
- Greensboro – Tuesday, January 12
- Charlotte – Thursday, January 14
- Elizabeth City – Tuesday, January 26
- New Bern – Thursday, January 28 (Location TBD)
Three, larger summits will take place in early 2010 in Asheville, Durham, and Greenville.
To learn more about this public engagement work, please visit http://www.smartinvestingnc.org/.