Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Center – Grand Opening, August 23

The new Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Center will provide the best of the program and design characteristics of the existing Sheltering Arms centers, along with influences from similar high-quality early learning centers across the country. The center opens officially with a grand opening celebration on the morning of August 23 in Atlanta, Georgia.

So that children are ready to take advantage of preschool and formal educational opportunities, providing them with vital support for social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development from the earliest possible moment is a key objective of Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Center. The center will also enhance family interactions and relationships by helping parents learn how to promote their child’s healthy development.

The approximately 26,000 square-foot, two-story building was designed to provide care for 184 children, ages six weeks through five years of age.
• The mix of infant/toddler (0-3 years) and preschooler (3-5 years) classrooms will be organized in the “Continuity of Care” philosophy
• A large multi-purpose room will accommodate from 50 to 65 people and is intended to be used by educators related to early childhood education programs as well as community outreach programs

The architecture of the Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Center is inspired by the role it serves, its location, and the community of Peoplestown. The design goal was to signify an embrace of the Peoplestown neighborhood and the spirit of its citizens, and to create visual continuity to the Barack and Michelle Obama Academy (formerly D.H. Stanton Elementary school), with which the center shares a site. The center was constructed using brick resembling that of the elementary school, visually connecting it to the rest of the campus. The vertical planes of the brick vary slightly in color, depth, and pattern, signifying the uniqueness of the individuals within the Peoplestown community. The one-story portions of the facility at the northwest and southeast corners programmatically serve as toddler and pre-k classrooms. Culminating at the entry to the center, this design element creates an anchor; an embrace from toddler to pre-k. Combined with the strength of the community, this embrace symbolizes the continuity of care inherent in early childhood education.

The design also extends beyond the interior of the new center to into the outdoor environments, which are as much places for learning as the classrooms within the building. Age appropriate play spaces surround the building, allowing the children to connect with the outdoors. The spaces incorporate natural play elements and creative play opportunities that will encourage physical, cognitive, and social development.

Click to learn more from Sheltering Arms about the new Early Education and Family Center, its programs, and the organization’s history.

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