PNC Foundation Awards Nonprofits $57,000 for Early Education

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The PNC Foundation announced Friday awards totaling more than $57,000 to seven local organizations to support the PNC Grow Up Great initiative.

The announcements were made at a PNC-hosted breakfast at Alta Care Group’s Campus of Care offices in Austintown.

“Today, we wanted to thank the teachers from Alta Head Start for what they do,” said Ryan Pastore, vice president of client and community relations at PNC. “It’s just really important for us to be supportive of early education of Mahoning Valley children. It’s PNC’s signature cause.”

Alta was awarded $7,500 to provide its Head Start program with early childhood mental health consultants to each of its preschool classrooms, said Ted Schmidt, PNC regional president for Youngstown.

These awards are part of PNC’s long-term commitment to the communities in which it does business.  “Our goal is to invest in the communities we live in and support people who contribute to that,” Schmidt says.

Grow UP Great is a bilingual, multiyear program that helps prepare children from birth to age five for success in school and life. 

Schmidt said PNC started the initiative in 2004. It has since expanded to a $500 million program across the Pittsburgh-based bank’s service regions.  “We try to support these organizations on an annual basis,” Schmidt said of these groups.

Other Grow Up Great recipients include:

  • Akron Children’s Hospital, awarded $7,000 to help fund its “Reach Out and Read” program, which uses pediatricians and nurses to encourage reading with their patients and families. The program also distributes a free book to all children during their regular pediatric checkups.
  • Holy Trinity Orthodox Church was given a $3,000 grant to support its “Hands On Stem” curriculum.
  • Millcreek Children’s Center received a $4,000 grant to support its “Exploring Math” through a field trips program.
  • Oh Wow! The Roger and Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science and Technology was awarded $8,811 to fund science engagement through the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley’s “Success By 6” program.
  • United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley received $25,000 to support “Success By 6,” which provides a pre-kindergarten readiness camp to hundreds of students in the Mahoning Valley.
  • YWCA Mahoning Valley received a $2,500 grant to help its early education program.

As an added surprise, Schmidt said those awardees that have a preschool classroom – in this case, Alta, Millcreek Children’s Center, Holy Trinity and the YWCA — would receive at least one iPad for their school. 

“Preschoolers can be hard on technology, so we included a heavy duty case for each pad,” he said, along with a $25 iTunes gift card.

Schmidt thanked the Alta Head Start teachers and other recipients for the hard work they perform every day to help the area’s young students.

“Their future is so much brighter because of you and we at PNC couldn’t be prouder to support your efforts,” Schmidt said.

Pictured are Ryan Pastore, vice president of client and community relations, and Ted Schmidt, PNC regional president for Youngstown.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.