Moms Ask NC Legislators to Protect Smart Start

Inspired by the children’s classic, The Little Engine that Could, NC moms and children rolled up to the General Assembly yesterday aboard a trolley wearing engineers’ caps and bearing messages from NC parents reminding state legislators that “we think you can” find a way to protect programs essential to North Carolina’s future even in this tough budget year. See the video on WRAL!

According to Beth Messersmith, NC Campaign Director for MomsRising, North Carolina finds itself today in much the same position as the children in The Little Engine that Could. In the story, there was a trainload of things that children needed that had to get to the other side of the mountain. It was a hard journey, and many were asked to help but didn’t. When all others refused, one little engine stepped up to the plate despite the overwhelming obstacles because he knew that it was critical to take care of the children.

“Today North Carolina legislators face a similar decision,” said Messersmith. “It’s going to be a hard budget session with difficult choices, but North Carolina’s children are relying on them to have the will to do the right thing and take a balanced approach to the budget. These parents and children are here today to remind them that ‘we think you can, we think you can….”

Thank you to Beth and all of the MomsRising moms for speaking up on behalf of Smart Start. Smart Start messages on trains included:

“The first 5 years of a child’s life are the most important years for our youngest citizens. Please give them a chance to become our future leaders by keeping the funding to the Smart Start, More at Four and Subsidy Programs that help ensure that they get high quality child care and the opportunity to succeed in school and in life. Thank you for valuing young children now and for keeping the programs that make the positive difference for them.”- Patricia, Winston-Salem

“Smart Start has been extremely beneficial to my children in NC!” – Nancy, Saluda



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2 responses to “Moms Ask NC Legislators to Protect Smart Start

  1. dad

    Especially helpful are the “Helping Hands” parenting cards, handed out to parents by some Smart Starts… with their own advice and motivational additions regarding parenting of very young children.

  2. Allyson Cooper

    This beyond infuriates me. I am an early childhood educator. I am also very educated by one of the finest institutions in this state. Yes, in its purest form, this is a great program. However, it is being grossly mismanaged millions upon millions of dollars are being wasted. In my county alone, the executive director who is sponsored largely by Smart Start funds makes with her benefits package in excess of two hundred thousand dollars per year. Now how many teaching jobs that could save? In addition, she doesn’t even have a proper degree. Yes it’s a Masters degree, but in the totally wrong field. There are three total Smart Start funded organizations in my city. They all have their own buildings with their own overhead and their own operating expenses. Any guesses as to how many children could be touched if we got rid of those programs which serve NO PURPOSE?!?! Anyone else paying attention to this? In addition, since some More @ Four enrollment is controlled by these people making over 200K per year, they are enrolling their friends. In one of our Smart Start programs a child is sitting where his parents make in excess of 100K per year and he has been in a 5 star center since birth; with no delays. Sound like the program is really working while I sit everyday and watch children struggle through poverty and parents decide if they want to work or go back to welfare because they can’t get any daycare assistance because all the Smart Start money is tied up in corrupt mess like this.
    So the next time you want to say this is a great program come to my center and look around. Walk through the neighborhood; ask the parents what they need. They need the politics and who’s friends with whom to go away. They need someone to step up and say these people are STEALING from the children and holding on to a failing project because someone who was once a governor started it, is beyond foolish. We don’t still use ether because we found a better way and there is a better way.
    Challenge me. Ask you local Partnership to produce their budget. Show how much they get paid and their benefit packages. How much they take AWAY from the kids. Ask them to show you how much they spend on gas, luncheons, and foolishness. All of our elected officials must produce this information. Oh and when they show “in kind donations” question that too. It’s normally where their husbands come change a light bulb and they show where they “donated” a $50 service for that. See how much went were and ask, how much longer can the children suffer? How long does the DSS waiting list need to get before you do something about it? How many teachers will lose their jobs and the classrooms get overcrowded? Eventually, they’ll come for you and who will stand up then?

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