Atlanta Children visit Carlos Museum
to ‘dream and travel’

Sitting on a map of Lima, Cuzco, and Machu Pichu, and surrounded by ceremonial pottery and carved wooden animals, two dozen Atlanta schoolchildren sit cross-legged in the Michael C. Carlos Museum’s Ancient American gallery, listening to Museum Director Bonnie Speed read from The Great Kapok Tree (below).

“We have seen the ways of man. He chops down one tree, then another and another
. . . there will be nothing left to hold the world in place.”

Nearby, in the classical art section amid Greek and Roman statues, Vice President and Secretary of the University Gary Hauk told a tale of lightning bolts and a god named Zeus.

“All of the Gods lived on a very high mountain in Greece called Olympus. Have you heard of the Olympics?” Hauk asked his young audience.

In October, about two-hundred preschoolers, kindergartners, and first-graders took part in “Around the World With Deans and Directors,” sponsored by Reading is Fundamental (RIF) and Atlanta Public Schools Head Start program and organized by Elizabeth Hornor, director of education programs at the museum.

“It’s really good therapy for the deans and administrators because they’ve got a tough job. Dealing with four- and five-year-olds has to be easier than dealing with faculty,” joked Associate Professor of Medicine Neil Shulman, who initiated the event. “Also, this provides a connection between Emory and the city; there’s such a divide there, and nobody wants it to be that way. It’s just a matter of a little initial effort. I’m sure this will continue as an Emory tradition.”

Speed told the children she hopes that they will continue to “explore the world through books and art” and to visit museums, “places to dream and travel.”–M.J.L.



© 2004 Emory University