Community Services for Children is pleased to announce it has received a $50,000 grant, payable over two years, from the PNC Foundation in support of PNC Grow Up Great®, a bilingual $500 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.
The grant will help provide enhanced educational opportunities to six Head Start classrooms at The Learning Hub – City Center. The unique public/private collaboration between CSC’s Head Start program and City Center Corporation provides a community nucleus that serves 110 preschool children and their families with high-quality early education and leverages community resources by engaging partners such as Allentown Art Museum, Allentown Symphony, Baum School of Art, Cops ‘n’ Kids Easton, CACLV, Da Vinci Science Center, The Literacy Center, Lehigh University, Emmaus Public Library and the Music Play Patrol.
“PNC recognizes the role kindergarten readiness plays in the wellbeing of local children, their families and ultimately, our economy,” said Pete Danchak, PNC regional president for Northeastern Pennsylvania. “By preparing our youngest students for educational success, we help build a solid foundation for the future of this region.”
PNC’s funding will support a Scientist in Residence who will integrate advanced STEM content (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills and lessons in the classroom, including experimentation, coding, algorithms, and sequencing languages. The support also makes possible an Artist in Residence who will integrate art processes in the classroom including visual arts, music, and drama, working with teachers to engage children in experiential learning, which is the process for making meaning directly from the learning experience. These program enhancements help build 21st-century skills including language development, critical thinking, innovation skills, problem-solving, creativity, and teamwork.
“This PNC Foundation grant will have a direct impact on the lives of young children and their families living in Allentown,” said CSC CEO and President Paula Margraf. “We know that poverty is the greatest barrier to school success, and these funds will allow us to provide specialized enrichment programming that will ensure children are not only ready for kindergarten but can compete with their more economically advantaged peers, putting them on a path to long-term success.”