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Smart Start celebrates 20th anniversary with barbecue

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By Renee Sloan

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Staff Writer

Smart Start of Brunswick County hosted a barbecue Thursday at its office on Sellers Street in Shallotte to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Smart Start.

The staff served barbecue and sides and organized games for children.

According to Smart Start of Brunswick County executive director Linda Gironda, the staff had wanted to host a community event.

“It just seemed like the kind of thing that would bring the community out,” she said. “And it was a good time, with it being the beginning of summer.”

Gironda estimates between 70 and 80 people attended the barbecue.

Smart Start is a statewide initiative that focuses on early care and education, family support and health for children from birth to 5 years old. Brunswick County Smart Start encompasses the following programs: Parents as Teachers, Raising A Reader, Just Watch It Grow and the North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten program. It also provides childcare resource and referral services and offers childcare subsidy through the local department of social services office.

“It was great to be celebrating the longevity of this program,” Gironda said. “It provides other states with the technical services to build a framework for early education and care for their children.”

Brunswick County Smart Start is presently serving 717 children in its various programs across the county.

Renee Sloan is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890, or email her at rsloan@brunswickbeacon.com