CARY, NC— The Lucy Daniels School, a program of the Lucy Daniels Center, has received a $9,500 grant from Duke Energy through the Duke Energy Foundation to enhance its STEM programming. ESTEAM   (Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is an out-of-school initiative that provides project-based learning and STEM activities in a thoughtful environment.

”Our investment in ESTEAM is an investment in our future workforce,” said Marty Clayton, Duke Energy’s district manager. “The engineers and scientists cultivated through this program today are the energy thought leaders of tomorrow.”

The Lucy Daniels School (LDS) is an expansion of the Center’s nationally recognized early childhood education programs. It is one a handful of local STEM-based elementary schools with a strong foundation in the arts for students with mental and emotional health challenges.  LDS will serve preschool, kindergarten, and first through third grades in the 2014-2015 school year, with enrollment through 5th grade by 2015-2016. LDS teaches children in an academically rigorous classroom setting that provides the specialized child mental health services for which Lucy Daniels Center is known.

“The grant from Duke Energy Foundation will help support our efforts to provide access to a quality STEM education that will prepare our children to excel in the classroom and in life,” said Dr. Deborah Mugno, Director of Education for Lucy Daniels School. Children’s early experiences shape their brain development for years to come; early exposure to STEM supports children’s overall academic growth, develops early critical thinking and reasoning skills, and enhances later interest in STEM study and careers. Research shows that the arts support crucial developmental skills in creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. By incorporating STEM and art in its early childhood education and elementary programs through ESTEAM, LDS is able to tap into the natural curiosity and sense of wonder all children possess while building on their innate desire for active, multisensory learning. 

About Lucy Daniels Center

The Lucy Daniels Center has become the largest and most comprehensive nonprofit provider of mental health services exclusively for children in the Triangle region, serving more 700 children and their families each year. The Lucy Daniels Center’s multi-disciplinary team, which includes recognized experts in mental health and education, works together with families to provide a uniquely comprehensive approach, delivering individualized treatment to each child. We complement this therapeutic regimen with rigorous academic programs through our elementary school and leverage our 20+ years of experience to support community programs serving children. We also work with area childcare providers to strengthen classroom settings and ensure environments are conducive to encouraging healthy development.  

About Duke Energy Foundation

Duke Energy Foundation makes charitable investments on behalf of Duke Energy, the largest electric power holding company in the United States with 7.2 million customers in six states. Over the foundation’s long history in local communities, it has identified focus areas that maximize the foundation’s dollars and guide the foundation’s giving. The foundation makes grants supporting the environment, economic development, education and community vitality. In North Carolina, Duke Energy Foundation invests $16 million annually for community support and charitable contributions. To learn more about Duke Energy Foundation, visit www.duke-energy.com/community

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