Research consistently shows that students with a quality early childhood education will do better in kindergarten, and consequently, throughout their schooling. Quality education in children’s early years establishes the crucial building blocks to their lifelong development and commitment to learning, creating the neurological pathways they will use from learning their ABCs to solving high-level math equations. Programs for early childhood learning foster physical, emotional and social development and help to provide a more level educational playing field.

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    Grow Up Great | $250,000

    For the past five years the PNC Grow Up Great initiative has been the centerpiece of the Foundation’s early childhood programming. Teacher professional development, classroom supplies, and equipment, Executive Readers, field trips and specialized classroom instruction contributed to developing a strong foundation for subsequent student academic success. Twenty-eight teachers and more than 500 students were supported and provided opportunities for experiences in the arts and sciences.

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    DPS Foundation for Early Learners | $750

    Professional development for teachers is an essential component of student growth and academic achievement. The annual pre-K transition conference is an opportunity for early childhood educators to come together, learn from each other, be inspired by guest presenters, and hear about new ideas, strategies, and programs. When teachers are supported in their professional growth, children benefit.