The Pittsburgh-based PNC Foundation has announced a $2.1 million investment in the Detroit Public Schools Foundation, the Detroit Science Center, and the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts to establish new programs in science and the arts for underserved preschool children in Detroit Public Schools.
Marking the local launch of PNC Grow Up Great, a ten-year, $100 million initiative to improve early childhood education, the investment will leverage the capacities of the Detroit Science Center and the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts to create new programs in preschool teacher training, add activities to enhance the arts and sciences curriculum of the Detroit Public Schools pre-K program, and engage parents in their children's learning experiences.
Starting in June, seven Detroit schools will offer preschool science and arts programs as part of a pilot summer program serving approximately two hundred children, while the professional development aspect of the program will enhance training for twelve teachers and twelve teaching assistants in participating classrooms. Following completion of the pilot, the program will operate for an additional two school years and will include an independent evaluation of its success. Based on the results of that evaluation, the program may be expanded to reach more children and teachers.
"Establishing a foundation in basic skills during a child's early years is vital to competing in an economy increasingly based on knowledge and ability," said James E. Rohr, chairman and CEO of the PNC Financial Services Group, the principal source of funding for the PNC Foundation. "The investment we make now in the children of Detroit lays the groundwork for their future and that of this region."