The Imagination Library train is coming to YOUR home!

Dolly Parton launched her Imagination Library in 1995 to benefit the children of her home county in East Tennessee. Dolly’s vision was to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month. By mailing high quality, age-appropriate books directly to their homes, she wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create. Moreover, she could help ensure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income.

In 2017, North Carolina’s state lawmakers included $3.5 million in the first year and $7 million in the second year of the state budget for Smart Start to administer Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL) across North Carolina.

The Imagination Library provides children a free book, delivered to their home each month free of charge, from their birth to their fifth birthday. Educational and literary experts help the Imagination Library select specific, high-quality books based on the child’s age and the family’s language of choice.

There are approximately 27,000 children residing in Forsyth County eligible to enroll in the Imagination Library. SSFC and its community partners are committed to enrolling all eligible children, while educating families on the importance of daily reading with their children, as well as the importance of habits of life-long reading.



Disciplining Children with Love … in our homes and other early childhood settings

… Imprints Cares and Smart Start team up for special, 4-workshop series …

We are excited to offer parents, grandparents, and other loving, caring guardians a FREE workshop on Thursday February 11 beginning at 6:00 p.m.. Through discussion and hands-on activities we will explore wonderful ways positive Discipline can be used in our homes, playgrounds, houses of worship, and wherever we are together with our children.SS - Discipline 2-11-16

Dinner will be provided at each event and child care is available upon request.  Please be sure to RSVP by clicking here.

This opportunity is the second workshop of a four-part series lead by Trina Stephens, community engagement director, Imprints Cares, Inc.  Each workshop provides guidance in an area of parenting.

Don’t hesitate to participate in one or all of the sessions. You can jump in at any point in the learning– even if you missed one.

For each time you participate in a class, you will be entered in a drawing for a tablet!  There will be 3 winners; you could be one of them!

Here’s the entire series …

  • Building Blocks to Success””October 28, 2015, 6:00 p.m.
  • Disciplining with Love””February 11, 2016, 6:00 p.m.
  • Raising Socially and Emotionally Healthy Children””March 10, 2016, 6:00 p.m.
  • TBD

For further information, contact Staci McMillian-Smith, MEd, 714.4362, or



5K & Family Day / Festival Familiar Saturday November 1 at BB&T Ballpark

… Festival theme READYSETREAD / en sus MARCASLISTOSLEA says it all …

On Saturday November 1, 2014, we will begin a year of celebration and reflection on our work””and the work of our public and private partners-over the past generation to build and sustain an affordable, comprehensive, high quality system of early childhood development and learning, capable of serving every family in our community.Espanol

At our kick-off party, you can have your calories AND lose them too! Nothing like a nice brisk 5K or 1K Fun Run to whet the appetite for a traditional stadium ”˜dog and drink! It’s not too late to register your feet or your TEAM’S feet!! To register for the morning 5K run/1K walk-run, visit our event partners, Precision Timing Systems, Inc.,

The Bark Point Ramblers, Dashville Cats, Donnaha Station, Jacob the Mime, A. V. Alvarado, Anthony Vasquez””these artists are among the headlining performers who are already secured for the entertainment program.

A host of public, private, and community organizations have already committed to having booths, providing information, children’s events, as well as public health screenings, for children and families-all with a special focus on the importance and special power of active, engaged reading in the family life of young children. To book exhibit or display space for your organization or agency, contact Jackie Lofton at 336.714.4349 or

As much as birthdays matter, where would we be without the fine businesses and individuals who help plan and support the party! A partial listing of our growing sponsor community and their Roll-to-Run Sponsorship Levels_5K and Family Day include:

Kaplan Company, Inc.
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

WALKReady Set Read Run Poster - Black
Hatch, Inc.
SSFC Board of Directors

Church Child Care Center, Inc.
Elite Benefits Group, Inc.
Fleet Feet Sports, Inc.
Hanesbrands, Inc.
IESS, Inc.
Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust
SSFC Staff

A Child’s World Learning Center, Inc.
BrookStone Technology Services, LLC
Community Employee Benefits, Inc.
Duke Energy
Hege Financial Group, LLC
Lakeshore, Inc.
WFDD Public Radio for the Piedmont, 88.5-FM

Crowne Apartments, Inc.
Goslen Printing, Inc.
Northwest Community Care Network
ONE Resource Marketing, LLC
Piedmont Parent, Inc.
Security National Properties, Inc.
The Speech Lady, PLLC

Bark Point Ramblers
David Plyler
Leo Rucker
Phillip Fullerton
PNC Bank

To lend your name, or the name of your business or philanthropy, to our first-ever Family Day Sponsor Team, please consider one of our sponsoring levels, and call Jackie Lofton, 336.714.4349.

… en sus MARCAS … LISTOS … LEA!!


Here’s a sneak preview of the day’s program … Come on out November 1, and see and hear and learn for yourself!


Entrance Lot
8:45       Mayoral Proclamation ~ Proclamación de la Alcaldía
9:00       1K Fun-Run
9:10       5K Run

Home Plate Stage
9:45       Race Awards  ~ Premios de Carreras
10:00    Bark Point Ramblers
11:00     Dashville Cats
11:45     Felder & Chambers
Noon    Donnaha Station
1:00      A. V. Alvarado y Anthony Vasquez

Outfield Dance Concourse
10:30     Carolina Stars

Press Box Concourse
Silent Auction ~ 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ~ Subasta Silenciosa

Throughout the Ballpark
Please visit and enjoy our vendors ~ 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ~ Por favor, visite y disfrute de nuestros vendedores!

Gracias ~ Thank you

NC Pre-K site applications for the 2014-2015 school year now available …

Smart Start of Forsyth County, Inc. (SSFC) welcomes applications from any four or five-star early care and education facility in Forsyth County to serve as an NC Pre-K Site for the 2014-2015 school year.

The site application form is available on our website at NC Pre-K Site Application.

Those interested in applying should submit the completed application to SSFC’s office by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday March 11, 2014.

We must receive the physical application (no post-marks) by this date and time.

For information about the site-selection decision process, read here.

Should you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Lisa Eads at 336.714.4363 or

Smart Start of Forsyth County awarded $18,000 For Reach Out and Read

… early literacy program to be a part of well-child visits in Forsyth County

marquee_09Smart Start of Forsyth County, Inc. (SSFC) has received $18,000 from the North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc. (NCPC) to expand early literacy work through the Reach Out and Read (ROR) program. SSFC’s funds are part of the recent award by NCPC of a total of $76,500 to Smart Start partnerships across North Carolina.

SSFC’s was the largest, single-site investment, almost one-quarter of the available funds. NCPC made the large award based upon its confidence in SSFC’s commitment to taking the ROR program to scale in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Community.

ROR is a national program that supports doctors and other medical providers in their efforts to prescribe reading to young children and families during well-child visits. SSFC will work with four large medical practices, serving nearly fifty (50%) percent of Forsyth County’s birth-to-five Medicaid-enrolled pediatric children to promote early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms.

During the well-child visit, physicians or other providers will give a new, developmentally-appropriate books to children ages six months to five years and will advise parents of the importance of reading aloud with their children. This prescription comes with book sharing, free books for children to keep, and waiting rooms full of books.

“Reach Out and Read is a proven strategy for effectively promoting literacy, strong cognitive and verbal development in children and for changing the behavior of parents to make reading a daily activity in the family,”  according to Dr. Michael Lawless, former faculty pediatrician at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, a member of SSFC’s board of directors, and co-chair of Forsyth County’s NC Pre-K Committee. “As a pediatrician, I recognize that during the period of early brain development in the first five years of life, there is a critical window for learning.  Children who grow up without sufficient language and literacy skills are often disadvantaged when they enter formal education at age 4 or 5 years.  ROR is a positive step in offering children a chance to reach their full educational potential.”

SSFC chief executive officer, Larry Vellani, noted an additional, unique value of the program. “Unlike some of our other important investments in early care and learning, Reach Out and Read has the potential to reach the majority of children birth-to-five in our community, not just those who may spend part of their day in licensed child care centers or homes. Reach Out and Read is a great complement to our newly established ABCD pediatric  screening program, a new partnership with medical practices in the seven counties of the Northwest Community Care Network, based in Winston-Salem.” (For more information about the ABCD program, visit

The first four practices to sign-on for the program are Downtown Health Plaza, Forsyth Pediatrics-Winston-Salem, Westgate Pediatrics, and Winston East Pediatrics. Together, these four practices serve almost 9,000 birth-to-five years of age children, representing 49% of the Medicaid-enrolled children in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County.

Downtown Health Plaza and Winston East Pediatrics have been piloting ROR for the past two years with support from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. SSFC, in partnership with these pediatric pioneers, hopes to help funders and pediatric health care professionals take the program to greater scale. In fact, three other practices are waiting in the wings to join the four practices already enrolled, as funding is available: Ford, Simpson, Lively & Rice in Kernersville as well as Winston-Salem, and Cornerstone Pediatrics in Kernersville, serving an additional almost 5,000 Medicaid-enrolled birth-to-five year old children in the community.

Winston-Salem’s Nurse Family Partnership, funded through the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, also uses the Reach Out and Read program in its work with first time mothers and their children. For more information aboutROR in North Carolina, visit

Smart Start of Forsyth County, Inc., is a member of North Carolina’s statewide Smart Start program. A network of nonprofit local partnerships led by The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc. (NCPC), the Smart Start approach creates innovative solutions to measurably increase learning and the healthy development of children birth to five. Smart Start gives local communities the freedom and responsibility to determine how to increase the health, well-being and development of their children based on the needs and resources of their local communities. NCPC establishes measurable statewide goals and communities determine the best approach to achieving them. Local attorney and civic leader, Doug Punger, was recently appointed by Governor McCrory to serve on NCPC’s board of directors. For more information about the Smart Start approach, visit

For further information Reach Out and Read and Smart Start of Forsyth County, Inc. (SSFC), contact Jackie Lofton, director, advancement and professional outreach, SSFC, 336.714.4349, or

Tips for Parents

Give Your Child a Healthy Start: Keep your baby well! Make sure your child has regular check-ups, up-to-date immunizations, plenty of rest, and a well-balanced diet.