Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in a conference call with the Grow Up Great (GUP) Advisory Board and PNC staff. These meetings are always thought-provoking sessions in which I learn some of the latest projects of GUP, and new developments in Early Childhood Education, and advocacy.
The meeting was very stimulating, so I want to share some of the highlights with you today.
- PNC has given $500 million dollars to GUG over its 15 year history! Although not present for all 15 years, I must say that this very significant commitment has truly changed the face of Early Childhood Education in the US. Today, business leaders generally recognize that quality Early Childhood Education is essential if we are to have an effective and qualified workforce in the future. That was not a generally accepted principle until Jim Rohr and PNC stepped up to the plate with their support. For more information on Grow Up Great, visit https://www.pnc.com/en/about-pnc/corporate-responsibility/grow-up-great.html
- PNC is sponsoring “Be My Neighbor Day” in all of its regional markets. Grants of $150,000 are available to allow PNC to determine what the needs of its region are as it relates to Early Childhood. For more information, visit http://bemyneighborday.org/
- The National Institute of Early Childhood Research (NIEER) supports Early Childhood Education policy by providing objective, nonpartisan information based on research. NIEER has identified a model to assist states in identifying the cost of quality preschool and available revenue so as to maximize the local, state and federal funding as well as to access non state dollars. For more information, visit http://nieer.org/
- Sesame Street is 50 years old! I can hardly believe it! Sesame has a new program, “Growing Together, Ready for School and Beyond,” which emphasizes increasing engagement and communication between families and educators. There is also a free interactive online course for Early Childhood Education educators whose purpose is to help educators increase children’s readiness for school. Topics include: social and emotional learning, language, literacy, motor development and cognitive development. For more information, visit https://sesamestreetincommunities.org/funder/pnc-grow-great/
- The National Center for Family Learning has a three year partnership with PNC implementing “Say and Play with Words” a program to mitigate the word gap in low socioeconomic status (SES) children. Sadly, by age 4, low SES children are exposed to 30 million less words than their peers. Their research has shown that by participating in this program, children will hear 6000 more words than the control group. The long term goal is to integrate the program into local initiatives. For more information, visit http://www.sayandplaywithwords.org/
Thank you PNC for taking on this leadership role and allowing me to be part of the Grow Up Great Advisory Board!