Four-year olds across North Carolina, including those in some of Charlotte’s high-poverty public schools, will get globes, books and science kits their teachers have asked for as part of a PNC Foundation “flash-funding” project.
The money will be channeled through the online charity DonorsChoose.org to provide prekindergarten teachers with resources such as books, art supplies, science equipment and field trips. A donation Tuesday of $504,000 paid for 849 projects in public and charter pre-K classrooms in states where PNC Financial Services Group does business, including 43 in the Carolinas.
In Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, teachers at Billingsville, Reid Park and Briarwood will get classroom supplies through the project.
The PNC Foundation’s latest gift follows PNC Grow Up Great, a $350 million, multi-year bilingual initiative in early childhood education. Overall, the foundation plans to invest $5 million to help pre-K teachers in the states where PNC does business.
On Tuesday, a local celebration was held at Crosby Head Start in Raleigh, where teachers were surprised with $500 gift cards, iPads, books and puppets.
Following the flash funding, the PNC Foundation grant will also be used to match, dollar-for-dollar, donations that support pre-K and Head Start projects listed on DonorsChoose.org.
Also, the PNC Foundation will provide 14,500 PNC employees who volunteered in 2016 a $50 DonorsChoose.org gift card that will enable the employee to select a classroom project for those funds.
Since Grow Up Great’s founding, PNC employees have logged more than 652,000 hours for the initiative through a policy that allows 40 hours of paid time off each year to volunteer.