Students at the Early Learning Center greet Elmo.

Elmo at ELC

Characters from Sesame Street Live visit UD's Early Learning Center

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3:56 p.m., April 6, 2012--“I just went up to see Grover! He’s right here!” cheered one little wide-eyed girl to another.  

More than 100 preschool and kindergarten aged children squealed with pleasure as Super Grover and Elmo made a special guest appearance at the University of Delaware's Early Learning Center (ELC) on Thursday, April 5.  The two characters were invited to visit the school prior to a Sesame Street Live production of "Elmo's Super Heroes" on Friday and Saturday, April 6 and 7, at the Bob Carpenter Center. 

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“This was louder than some rock concerts I’ve been to,” noted a visitor, with a smile, as Grover and Elmo danced and waved to their adoring fans in the ELC gymnasium.  

After bestowing hugs and high fives to the crowd, the two Sesame Street friends joined Peg Bradley, ELC director, in a range of exercises.  As a participant in the national Let’s Move initiative, the ELC encourages physical activity to create a healthy start for children.   There was stretching, jumping and tapping, followed by the crowd favorite -- the hokey pokey.  Everyone joined in -- students, teachers and parents alike -- with one preschooler adeptly “twirling himself about” in his adaptive walker.  

Bradley explained, “The ELC provides early care and education for more than 250 children and their families; about 20 percent of whom are children with serviceable disabilities, so activities are adapted to meet the needs of each child.”

To ensure that a preschool child with a severe visual impairment wasn’t left out of the fun, Elmo encouraged him to feel his fur while his teacher described what he was touching.  “Elmo is red, like hot.”  

After the hokey pokey, the children were given one last chance to hug their favorite character before Elmo and Grover skipped towards the doors.  With a wave of his furry blue paw, Grover and his friend headed back to Sesame Street as a young preschooler exclaimed, “I can’t believe that they came to my school!”

The ELC offers services to children ages six months to six years and their families through full-day early care and education.  In addition, they support the academic mission of UD by providing clinical placements for hundreds of UD students each semester.  

Sesame Street Live

The Sesame Street Live production "Elmo's Super Heroes" will bring Elmo, Super Grover and their friends to UD's Bob Carpenter Center for five performances on Friday and Saturday, April 6 and 7. 

Article by Alison Burris

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