Sheltering Arms Early Education Center Officially Opens in Peoplestown

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Sheltering Arms, Georgia’s largest nonprofit early education and child care organization, opened its newest center during a ribbon cutting ceremony on August 24. Members of the Atlanta Emerging Markets, Inc. (AEMI) team were on hand to celebrate the occasion.

Located on the campus of Barack and Michelle Obama Academy (formerly D.H. Stanton Elementary School), the new 26,600 square-foot building will serve approximately 180 children and their families in the Peoplestown community. The center will provide high quality early education and care to children six weeks to five years of age, and serve as a partner with Atlanta Public Schools to promote a direct pipeline for education.

“We are so excited about this brand new facility and the opportunity to impact the lives of children and families in this community,” said Blythe Keeler Robinson, president and CEO, Sheltering Arms. “Studies show that when children attend a high-quality early learning program, they’re more prepared for kindergarten and are more likely to succeed in school, graduate high school and college, and earn higher incomes as adults.”

Sheltering Arms will also provide holistic support services that address a family’s needs from health and wellness to educational attainment to economic security.

The new facility will house 14 classrooms, with the infant, toddler and preschool rooms organized into “neighborhoods” that connect to offices for family support coaches and curriculum specialists.  The building also has meeting rooms and hospitality areas for parents; a large multi-purpose room for indoor play and events; and a unique outdoor play area that mimics Georgia’s topography — the Blue Ridge mountains, the Piedmont region and the coastal plains.

AEMI provided $6.3MM in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation to provide financial support, and worked closely with Bank of America and Reinvestment Fund, a community development financial institution, to enable Sheltering Arms to secure financing to bridge capital campaign pledges and proceed with the construction of the building.