GREENSBORO, N.C. – Guilford Child Development celebrated its 50th To celebrate with the 4th annual Early Childhood Champions Luncheon at the Koury Convention Center.

The event honored the accomplishments and hard work of members of the community dedicated to bettering early childhood: PNC Bank, Dr. Nancy Brown; Sesame Street; Dr. Valerie Jarvis McMillan of NC A&T University; and Brad Wilson.

Governor Roy Cooper delivered the keynote speech after an introduction by former Governor James Hunt.

“We’re gonna try to make North Carolina a top-ten educated state, but it starts at birth, it starts at early childhood,” the Governor said. “What you’re doing makes a real difference for our state and for our future.”

Sesame Street’s Elmo made an appearance and interacted with guests at the luncheon with selfies and hugs.

Sesame Street and GCD work closely together as Guilford is one of three communities Sesame Street selected as a pilot out conduct research on child development through the Sesame Street in Communities program.

Executive Director, Robin Britt, said, “Our goal is always to create a welcoming learning environment for our children our families; a place where they can be respected, where their accomplishments can be celebrated, and where there can be an inspiration of hope.”

Britt adds, “We want children to be ready to go to school and kindergarten and be successful, and successful in life, but you have to lay that foundation at a very early age.”

According to Britt, GCD serves almost 1500 children in their Headstart program alone, and served 250,000 meals for early aged children just last year.

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