Teacher Appreciation Week: Celebrating Our MECK Pre-K Educators

A teacher teaching a group of Meck Pre-K students

The week of May 6, 2024 is a time to show your appreciation for teachers across our community and in all of our schools—the teachers who shape young minds, from toddlers to high school seniors. 

Mecklenburg County salutes its teachers in MECK Pre-K, the County’s innovative program to offer high-quality education for all 4-year-old children residing in Mecklenburg County at no cost to their families. Classrooms are located in licensed child development centers and taught by licensed teachers and highly qualified assistant teachers.  

OUR TEACHERS: The top factor supporting development for children in an early childhood classroom is the quality and level of preparedness of the teacher. MECK Pre-K is a new “Beginning Teacher Support” program, recognized by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. This allows MECK Pre-K to enhance the work of veteran and previously licensed teachers, and work with early childhood educators who are early in their career. In housing its own teacher support program, MECK Pre-K can ensure a corps of well-prepared and highly qualified teachers in its classrooms, all holding state teaching licenses and mentoring the next generation of early childhood educators and MECK Pre-K team members.  

From MECK Pre-K’s blog post on supporting teachers: 
“MECK Pre-K students spend each day learning, practicing real life skills and expanding their knowledge. Teachers are trained to follow a child’s interests, build on previous knowledge, and provide real world experience based on that knowledge. This offers a lot of space for teachers to be creative and follow their students’ interests.” 

APPLY: MECK Pre-K is now accepting applications for the 2024-2025 school year, seven years after first enrolling students. It is open to all 4-year-old children (by Aug. 31, 2024) in Mecklenburg County. Families can visit MECKPreK.org to apply. Those without internet access can apply in person or request a paper application. MECK Pre-K staff can be reached by email at Info@MeckPreK or by calling 704-943-9585.  

MECK Pre-K was developed to address the Board of County Commissioners’ Early Childhood Development priority, which pledges to expand services that promote healthy early childhood development and education from ages birth to 5 years. MECK Pre-K opened in the fall of 2018 with the number of eligible applications growing every year.  
MECK Pre-K is administered by Smart Start of Mecklenburg County and funded by Mecklenburg County. Smart Start of Mecklenburg County mobilizes resources, forges partnerships, and supports families to improve early childhood health, education and development, and to ensure children are prepared for kindergarten. Learn more at SmartStartofMeck.org.  

Watch Video: MECK Pre-K Teacher Felicia Perkins