Monticello celebrates Founder’s Day

Published: Apr. 13, 2022 at 2:23 PM EDT
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - April 13th marks a special day Monticello: It’s Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, and despite his wishes to never have a birthday celebrated, the historic plantation celebrates in style.

“I never in a million years would have thought I’d be receiving the Thomas Jefferson medal,” Sesame Street Workshop President Sherrie Westin said Wednesday, April 13.

Westin is part of the group behind the kids television show Sesame Street.

“Mr. Jefferson believed in the power of education, first and foremost, power of innovation, and the power of human potential and that really is what Sesame Street is all about,” she said.

The award recognizes achievements of those who embrace endeavors in which Jefferson held in high regard.

“We were started as a huge experiment - all about providing education to all - about giving children the chance to reach their highest potential if they’re given the right tools, so I think it’s a wonderful, profound connection,” Westin said.

Monticello and the University of Virginia also recognized the International Rescue Committee in Charlottesville with its first award in citizen service.

“The last six, seven months have been rough for us,” IRC Executive Director Harriet Kuhr said. “I mean, we want to do our work, but just being pushed to the very limit. So it’s just nice to know that that’s appreciated.”

She says the recognition is validation for the importance of the work the group is doing.

“I think this just shows that the community is appreciative and cares, and that, you know, they’re supporting us in every way they can,” Kuhr said.

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