PNC Grow Up Great® Program Celebrates 15th Anniversary

Head Start welcomed at American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore City to kick off extension of early education initiative to $500 million

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Richard Lippenholz

PNC employee volunteers helping out the children at the Arts & Crafts table.

On Thursday, April 4, 2019, PNC launched its 15th anniversary celebration of PNC Grow Up Great® announcing an additional $150 million to extend the program that supports high-quality early learning for young children. The program is now a $500 million imitative benefiting 40 PNC markets.

Preschoolers from Catholic Charities Head Start in Baltimore City enjoyed a fantastic field trip to the American Visionary Art Museum thanks to PNC’s Grow Up Great. The event also marked 50 years of Catholic Charities Head Start in Baltimore.

Since 2004, Grow Up Great has focused on helping to prepare children, especially underserved children, from birth to age five for success in school and life. The initiative goes beyond the classroom, supporting learning and social-emotional development of children at home and across communities by also providing free resources and tools to parents, guardians, caregivers and neighborhood organizations.

photo

Richard Lippenholz

Beka Plum with the American Visionary Art Museum (extreme left) demonstrates various shapes in the “World of Robots” exhibit by artist DeVon Smith. The children’s heads are covered with berets since they are all budding artists.

Access to high-quality early childhood education and resources is critical.

Research shows that quality early education reduces dropout rates, poverty and crime while improving the skills of tomorrow’s workforce.

In addition to the increased funding, details of the yearlong celebration includes:

•Launching the “Great Big Book Drive.” For the first time, PNC invites customers and other community members to join us in donating books and playing a role in helping children succeed. Books can be dropped off at PNC branches now through April 30. The books will be distributed to early learning organizations across PNC communities.

•Extending the alliance with DonorsChoose.org. PNC is extending its alliance with DonorsChoose.org, an online charity that connects individual donors with classrooms in need, by awarding another $5 million grant from the PNC Foundation to help preschool teachers to obtain high-quality resources and learning experiences for their students. From now through May 31, 2019, the PNC Foundation will match, dollar-for-dollar, donations that support pre-K and Head Start teachers’ project requests in the PNC footprint listed on DonorsChoose.org, subject to restrictions and a maximum dollar amount.

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Richard Lippenholz

Group of PNC employees, preschoolers from Catholic Charities Head Start along with their teachers and parents and other members of the community at the kick off of the 15th Anniversary celebrations of the PNC Grow Up Great® program on April 4, 2019 at the American Visionary Art Museum.

For specific guidelines on the match component, visit DonorsChoose.org. In addition, approximately 52,000 PNC employees will receive a $25 gift card funded by the PNC Foundation, which allows them to award the funds to a DonorsChoose.org project of their choice. To date, the PNC/DonorsChoose.org alliance has benefited more than 630,000 pre-K and Head Start students.

•Awarding $6 million in focused grants. Each PNC regional market will receive up to $150,000 in incremental grants from the PNC Foundation. These grants are designed to support the specific needs of learners from birth to three-years-old; community-based educational experiences for families with young children; or professional learning and skill-development for current or future early childhood educators.

•Doubling Grants for Great Hours. PNC provides employees with 40 hours of paid time off each year for Grow Up Great volunteerism. Employees could previously earn grant credits up to $3,000 each year to be awarded to a partner early learning organization. For this year, PNC is doubling that amount up to $6,000. To date, employees’ volunteerism has resulted in $6.6 million in grants.

photo

Richard Lippenholz

Laura Gamble, PNC regional president for Greater Maryland (at podium) welcomed all the guests and announced the extension of the $500 million initiative which benefits 40 PNC Markets. On stage with Gamble were Rebecca Hoffberger, Founder/Director of the American Visionary Art Museum; and Bill McCarthy, executive director of Catholic Charities.

Throughout the year, PNC will continue the anniversary celebration with additional initiatives and events that continue to support the efforts of early childhood education champions— the teachers, experts, caregivers and parents committed to building a foundation for success.

The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, 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, including the arts and culture.