PNC Financial Services Group has announced a ten-year, $250 million extension of its Grow Up Great early childhood education initiative, which has benefitted more than a million children since its launch in 2004.
Originally conceived as a ten-year, $100 million effort to help prepare children for school, with an emphasis on math, science, the arts, and financial education, the initiative has awarded $40 million in grants through the PNC Foundation to date. As part of its re-commitment to the effort, PNC also announced a $7 million expansion of its preschool science initiative, which was launched in 2009. The competitive grant program will fund regional science centers and nonprofit organizations that give children opportunities for inquiry-based science learning and experience-related activities that are both educational and fun.
Other activities under the program include additional support for the professional development of teachers, support for expanding and diversifying employee volunteer programs, and continued support for PNC's advocacy efforts on behalf of quality early education among business leaders and public officials at all levels.
"Research shows that for every $1 invested in early childhood education, there is a $16 savings for society," said PNC chairman and CEO James E. Rohr. "This additional funding over ten years allows us to reach more children, parents, and teachers during a time of tight federal and state budgets and increased expectations for a skilled workforce."