PNC Grow Up Great turns 20 and plans even more for Pittsburgh’s kids

Photos courtesy of PNC Grow Up Great. 

Did you know almost half of children ages 3-5 play outside less than once a day? That’s according to the National Institute for Early Education Research funded by PNC, which is one reason the PNC Foundation is investing $5.2 million to implement or enhance nature-based outdoor play and learning environments for kids.

For the 20th anniversary of the PNC Grow Up Great progarm, Sally McCrady, president and chair of PNC Foundation, said they’re focusing on outdoor play because research suggests that pre-K programs conducted in nature-based settings can promote better learning and development.

Chartiers Early Childhood Outdoor Classroom.

Here in Pittsburgh, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy will get grant money to study 12 Pittsburgh Public Schools’ outdoor play environments and create new outdoor learning places in our region.

PNC Foundation also announced a $5 million extension supporting DonorsChoose, which is an education nonprofit that connects individual donors with public school classrooms. As part of that, they “flash funded” all pre-K and Head Start teacher requests focused on outdoor play and learning in PNC’s markets.

Cookie Monster paid a visit to the PNC Grow Up Great 20th anniversary celebration.

Even Sesame Street is jumping on the initiative with content emphasizing nature-based play in its bilingual educational resources available online and at PNC branches.

Click here to learn more about PNC Grow Up Great and learn how you can access resources and be part of DonorsChoose.