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Grant to renovate “Playscape” also provides professional development for area preschool teachers
The PNC Foundation announced a $700, 000, three-year grant to The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis for the renovation of Playscape, an early childhood and preschool exhibit for children ages 5 and younger. The grant will also fund two series of teacher training workshops, one of which will focus on early childhood development and the other on use of the museum’s early childhood exhibit to improve school readiness.The museum will see a boost in its offerings for children with the completion of the renovation, expected by early 2013, due to the grant from the PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group.
The funding signifies the first major grant the PNC Foundation has made in Indianapolis through its signature philanthropic cause, Grow Up Great, a 10-year, $100 million bilingual initiative to improve early childhood education.
“Research has shown that children who are ready for kindergarten are more likely to stay in school and graduate from high school, ” said Steve Stitle, PNC’s regional president for Greater Indianapolis, speaking on behalf of the PNC Foundation. “The gift to the museum will help ensure that preschoolers enjoy an exceptional educational experience at the region’s finest cultural institution.”
Situated on 19 acres, the 473, 000 square foot museum is the largest children’s museum in the world and the most visited children’s museum in the United States. The Playscape area is almost 20 years old. The renovation is expected to create new experiences in preschool development across the arts, science and humanities.
"Thanks to the PNC Grow Up Great program, The Children’s Museum will be able to focus additional resources on our programs and exhibits specifically serving preschool children and their families, " said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, museum president and chief executive officer. "The Grow Up Great program’s special emphasis on school readiness and underserved children is a natural fit with the museum’s mission.”At today’s grant announcement, Stitle also presented a gift of 5, 000 “Happy, Healthy, Ready for School – Math Is Everywhere” kits to 13 preschool programs and centers throughout the Indianapolis area, for children in their pre-k programs. The kits were created by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, as part of a continuing partnership with PNC.
Math Is Everywhere materials are available for free at all PNC Bank branches, pncgrowupgreat.com, and sesamestreet.org/math. Additionally, the Math Is Everywhere video will be available at no charge on Amazon.com VOD and on iTunes (iTunes.com).
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is a nonprofit institution committed to creating extraordinary family learning experiences that have the power to transform the lives of children and families. For more information about The Children’s Museum in English and Spanish, visit www.childrensmuseum.org.
The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (NYSE: PNC), 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 its signature cause, Grow Up Great, PNC has created a 10-year, $100 million initiative to enhance early childhood education and school readiness.