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Elmo Announces Boost to Atlanta Pre-K Arts & Science Education

Elmo hobnobs with kids from Sheltering Arms at the science and arts education announcement.
Elmo hobnobs with kids from Sheltering Arms at the science and arts education announcement.

If you’re going to announce a major initiative that will improve arts and science education for preschoolers, it’s best to get a celebrity to do the honors. That celebrity was Elmo - a fine choice I might add.

He joined PNC Bank’s Chairman and CEO James E. Rohr last week in introducing $1.2 million in grants that will be shared by the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Sheltering Arms Early Education & Family Centers and the Woodruff Arts Center, Young Audiences program to provide better access to science and arts programs to pre-k students, their families and early childhood educators in lower-income communities.

They made this announcement at a congenial morning soiree at the Woodruff Arts Center last week. Cookie Monster joined the invite only group of us adults and some children from Sheltering Arms.

Take a look at this video from Elmo and CEO Rohr from the event.

The grant is part of PNC's Grow Up Great initiative that funds and establishes innovative school readiness programs. Considering that the Georgia Pre-K program turns 20 this year and that corporate partners are part of the reason why the program has worked, this initiative comes at a great time.

Here are some of the benefits of the grant:

  • Developmentally appropriate classroom activities will be created for 530 preschoolers to augment science and arts for children.
  • The Fernbank, Woodruff and Sheltering Arms will train 26 preschool teachers to create inquiry-based instruction and provide in-class modeling and mentoring.
  • The partner institutions will host Family Creativity Nights.
  • Award Georgia Family Connection Partnership $200,000 to support professional development opportunities that help early childhood educators attain quality ratings goals under Georgia’s new Quality Rated system.

The programs are estimated to begin sometime in January of next year. For more information on how to take part visit or contact the program director Eva Blum:

Here I am with Cookie Monster!
Rosemary and Cookie Monster