COVID-19 “Retooling” Grant Enables Businesswoman to Bring Art to Children in Need

Sterling, VA, April 5, 2021 – With schools reopening and businesses navigating an evolving COVID-19 environment, Abrakadoodle Greensboro announces free art classes at two PreK schools in underserved areas of Guildford County. Kathleen Norris, Educational Director/Owner of Abrakadoodle Greensboro is a HUB (Historically Underutilized Business) member, and she was issued a COVID-19 “Retooling” Grant as a business that was severely impacted. Abrakadoodle is a mobile art education provider that partners with schools and community sites to deliver art education programs. After school programs in the Triad area are very slow to reopen, and Guilford Community Centers are currently not holding extracurricular activities, both of which are major contributors to Abrakadoodle’s core business, Ms. Norris explained. Dedicated to making a difference in her community, Ms. Norris made a personal decision to focus her grant funds on providing free classes for young children based upon her commitment to making a difference for all children. She remarked,

“The NC PreK program is tuition free and many facilities are in underserved and minority sections of the county and state. Many of these children have limited access to family paid enrichment programs, and I hope to find financial solutions to bringing more Abrakadoodle art into their classes in the future.” Ms. Norris added, “I hope my actions help to demonstrate that Abrakadoodle is a brand with purpose that cares.”

On March 11, Kathleen worked with the Guilford Partnership for Children to provide a free family art lesson over a Zoom call and during the monthly PreK Director’s meeting offered free classes for their young students. As a result of her effort, Kathleen will be providing two free classes for 18 children on April 14 at De Paul Academy in High Point, and she will be providing seven free art classes for 83 children on April 15 at Poplar Grove Child Development Center in Greensboro.
According to Rosemarie Hartnett, CFE, President & Co-Founder of Abrakadoodle, “I recently viewed the mid-March video that Kathleen recorded, teaching Monet’s sunflower lesson. I was truly impressed! She introduced a beautiful online Abrakadoodle experience that conveyed not only our process and educational value but also a real warmth and joy to her audience. Kathleen is a great brand ambassador.”
Kathleen Norris launched her Abrakadoodle Greensboro business in early 2019. She holds a BS degree in Computer Science from Arizona State University. Ms. Norris was a lead software engineer for Honeywell Aerospace and BAE where she created control software for commercial airlines and helicopters. “Participating in the arts has always been a great joy to me,” Kathleen said. “The creativity and innovation of producing original art in my childhood helped build a foundation for success in science and engineering, and I hope to share the arts and work to open doors to creative learning for children in my community,” she remarked.
Guilford PreK Partner Contacts:
Heather Denson (Center Director)
Poplar Grove Guilford Child Development 
5500 Summit Ave, Greensboro, NC 27405
(336) 621-3756-Center 
(336) 215-8765- Work Cell
Marie Hough (Huff)
DePaul Academy
1605 E M.L.K. Jr Dr, High Point, NC 27260
Phone: (336) 884-1442
About the Retool NC Grant:
The Department of Administration Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) has partnered with Carolina Small Business Development Fund and the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development to establish the RETOOLNC Grant Program Fund to provide grant funds for small businesses (for-profits) adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible businesses are certified HUB and DBE firms with 50 employees or less. Grants are ONLY available to certified businesses with $1,500,000 or less in revenue, according to 2019 tax filing. Funds may be used for legitimate business expenses, including but not limited to working capital, lease payments, existing real estate and equipment financing payments, and covering payroll shortage.
# # # # #