Alta Care Group, PNC to Transform Outdoor Space at Learning Center

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Alta Care Group is collaborating with the PNC Foundation to reimagine the outdoor play area at the Alta Head Start McCartney Learning Center. 

The project was made possible by a $75,000 grant from the foundation.

Alta worked alongside Meyer Design and the foundation to co-create the outdoor play area. Design plans for the project integrated the need for safe, stimulating surroundings with a nature-filled aesthetic that encourages creative play, a news release states. 

Playground features will include a reading nook, a small stage, a wooden arch bridge that leads to a path, a mud kitchen, a wooden tunnel that the children can enter and exit from, musical instruments, plants and flowers with additional planters for fruit or vegetable plants and a pergola with wooden picnic tables.

An artist’s rendering of the new outdoor play area at Alta Head Start McCartney Learning Center.

PNC is putting a focus on outdoor play and learning as part of the 20-year anniversary of PNC Grow Up Great, a $500 million initiative created to help prepare children from birth through age 5 for success in school and in life, with an emphasis on underserved communities.

“PNC-funded research by the National Institute for Early Education Research shows that young children are spending less time outside,” said Ted Schmidt, PNC regional president for Youngstown. “A growing body of research suggests that outdoor pre-K play and learning offers a wealth of benefits for children’s health and well-being, language development, cognitive and social-emotional skills and more.”

Joe Shorokey, Alta CEO, said PNC has been a longtime supporter of Alta’s early childhood mental health services and the Alta Head Start Program.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have been selected to benefit from the PNC Grow Up Great 20-year anniversary grant,” Shorokey said. This will be a wonderful asset to the children at our McCartney Road site.”

The play area is expected to open this fall.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.