Posted October 01, 2014
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland has received a $49,000 grant from the PNC Foundation to create science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programming for preschoolers at the Early Childhood Center at Arbor Park in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood.
The STEM program includes a range of interactive math and science activities, field trips, professional development for teachers and program staff, and family engagement opportunities. The effort’s effectiveness will be measured several times throughout the programming year.
“Providing experiences in science, technology, engineering and math to preschoolers in disadvantaged areas, such as the Central neighborhood in Cleveland, is critical to creating a successful transition from early learning to kindergarten readiness,” said Patrick Gareau, president and CEO of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland. “We are grateful to PNC for funding this initiative that will allow us to provide important lessons to our preschoolers.”
The grant was made in support of Grow Up Great, PNC’s signature $350 million, multi-year bilingual initiative to improve early childhood education, with a focus on underserved populations. The funds will allow Catholic Charities to purchase equipment and supplies, support teacher professional development, and host parent activities and events. Additionally, a technology center will be created to expose students to developmentally-appropriate advanced technology, including computers, tablets, e-readers and interactive white boards within the classroom setting.
To date, PNC has provided more than $6 million in grants in Cleveland to dozens of local kindergarten readiness programs and initiatives, serving more than 100 pre-school classrooms, 30,000 students and 1,600 educators.
“PNC recognizes that kindergarten readiness is the foundation of the health of our children, their families and ultimately, our local economy,” said Paul Clark, PNC regional president for Cleveland. “Preparing our young children for their first day of school helps them learn and grow up to be our future leaders, innovators and employers.”
The Early Childhood Center at Arbor Park provides early learning to infants, toddlers and preschool age children, allowing for individualized developmental growth by focusing on social, cognitive, emotional, language and physical development.
The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (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.