In their own words . . .

From the Smart Start Annual Report for FY 2008-2009:

“I’m working hard to support my family and am pursuing a career in the military. Thank you for every bit of time and money that has been given.” 

“Without this program, we would still be lost and our child would not be doing as well as he is.”

“We pray that e very county can have the same opportunities for their small children.”

These are just some of the thoughts shared throughout this report about the value of Smart Start. They get to the heart of our work, making sure all children have the experiences they need to thrive. And because today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders, parents and workers, every North Carolinian has a stake in making sure Smart Start succeeds.

The earliest years of childhood are critical. Experiences during this time literally shape the structure of the brain. Smart Start was created to make sure all children— including those from low-income families, those with working parents, and those who stay at home with a parent—have what they need for healthy growth and development. We are the system that brings together all the people involved in a young child’s life—families, teachers, doctors, caregivers, social workers, and many others—in every county in the state.

Smart Start’s role as convener and collaborator is evident throughout this report. The programs highlighted in the pages that follow are the result of communities coming together to best meet the needs of young children and their families. You will hear firsthand from parents about our family support work; from early childhood providers about partnering to improve the quality of child care; and from health care consultants and parents about our efforts to keep children healthy.

For every story you read, there are hundreds of others just like them. Of course, there also are hundreds of others that are in need. Unfortunately, ongoing cuts in Smart Start’s funding mean that local partnerships are forced to make hard decisions about which programs they will be able to continue to fund.

Moving forward, let us remember the words of North Carolina’s Secretary of Commerce Keith Crisco, “Early education is economic development. It is the best kind.”

Ashley O. Thrift, Board Chair
The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc.

Stephanie Fanjul, President
The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc.

Download the report.

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One response to “In their own words . . .

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