PALM BEACH, Fla., Dec. 4, 2012 – Efforts to improve arts and science skills among South Florida preschoolers received a boost today in the form of an $800,000 grant from the PNC Foundation.
South Florida Science Museum, Family Central, Palm Beach State College and Young At Art will share the three-year grant to enhance access to arts and science resources for hundreds of pre-k students, their families and early childhood educators in communities throughout Broward and Palm Beach counties.
“Quality early childhood education can broaden the opportunities for social and economic mobility among at-risk children,” said PNC President William S. Demchak. “Our investment represents a commitment to the rich, cultural energy that has distinguished South Florida and furthers our investment in children through the arts and science.”
Family Central's President and Chief Executive Officer Barbara-Ann Weinstein, Ed.D, said PNC’s support and the focus on early childhood education will benefit South Florida children for many years. “We know our children succeed when there’s intensive, early instruction and hands-on learning,” she said. “This program will have lasting results for our children and for our communities. It’s an investment we will all benefit from.”
In addition, Dr. Weinstein, one of South Florida’s leading school readiness authorities, will share her expertise with Grow Up Great by joining its 10-member advisory council. Comprised of leading experts in the fields of education, medicine, academia and philanthropy, the council provides guidance to Grow Up Great’s strategy and implementation.
Highlights of Grants
The $800,000 grant from The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (NYSE: PNC), is part of PNC Grow Up Great and the focus on arts and science. Activities planned by the grant recipients include:
- South Florida Science Museum and Young at Art:
- Show children how to investigate the life-cycle of plants
- Discover how recycled waste can turn into something new and useful as they create “Flowering-Paper”
- Kids will also use their senses of touch and sight to explore ocean animals and create authentic “Gyotaku Fish Printing”
- Palm Beach State College and Family Central:
- Train childcare center staff through technical resources and online training webinars
- The college’s trainers will develop and teach STEAM (Science, Technology, Education, Art, and Math) courses and work directly with Family Central coaches to help preschoolers improve thinking skills and better understand science
- The grant will also fund professional development workshops, classroom supplies, museum visits for participating families and other resources for several early childhood centers
Today’s announcement with Demchak and Craig Grant, PNC’s regional president for Florida East, expands upon previous efforts related to Grow Up Great, the bank’s $350 million, multi-year, bilingual initiative that began in 2004 to improve early childhood education for children from birth to age 5. To date, the program has served more than 1.5 million preschoolers and PNC employees have recorded 300,000 hours through a progressive policy that permits 40 hours a year of paid time off for volunteerism.
In addition, PNC will donate 5,000”Happy, Healthy, Ready for School – Math Is Everywhere” activity kits to Family Central and Opportunity Inc. to supplement mathematics learning for area preschoolers. Created by Sesame Workshop as part of a continuing partnership with PNC, the bilingual, multimedia kits include a guide for parents and caregivers, a children’s book, along with an original Sesame StreetTM DVD. Math Is Everywhere materials are available for free at all PNC Bank branches, pncgrowupgreat.com, and sesamestreet.org/math.
About Family Central
For more than 40 years, Family Central, a comprehensive, not-for-profit family support organization has provided specialized services and programs giving South Florida's children a competitive start in life. Our mission promotes children's success by providing quality family support and educational services. Family Central plays a pivotal role in the lives of families by strengthening the social, emotional and economic ties that family members have to one another, as well as to their community. With programs directed toward economically disadvantaged families living in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties, last year Family Central's programs reached more than 110,000 children, families and providers.
About South Florida Science Museum
Founded in 1961, the South Florida Science Museum is currently in the process of an expansion anticipated to be complete June 2013, and is open while under construction. Featuring fun and educational programming for all ages, the South Florida Science Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to exciting curiosity and furthering the understanding and appreciation of science and technology. The Museum features more than 50 hands-on exhibits, a digital planetarium, fresh and saltwater aquariums, as well as natural history exhibitions. Each year the Museum welcomes more than 125,000 visitors and reaches more than 45,000 students through workshops at the Museum and outreach programs to local schools. For more information about the South Florida Science Museum, please call 561-832-1988 or visit www.sfsm.org.
About Young at Arts
The Young At Art Institute features cutting edge equipment and studios that incorporate natural lighting, the truest form of illumination, especially for painting. The Young At Art Institute's design allows students space to work outside, adding a nature component to their art education. Age-appropriate classes in painting and drawing, ceramics, mixed media, cartooning, printmaking, digital and darkroom photography and 4-D video design will be offered. Young At Art is the only children’s museum in Florida and one of only six children's museums in the nation to have achieved accreditation by the American Association of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition to be bestowed on a museum. For more information about Young At Art Museum, call 954-424-0085 or visit YoungAtArtMuseum.org.
About PNC Foundation
The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (www.pnc.com) actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a $350 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life. For more information, please visit www.pncgrowupgreat.com and www.youtube.com/PNC or follow @PNCGrowUpGreat on Twitter.