PNC and Sesame Workshop
The PNC Foundation joins Sesame StreetTM in helping to bring laughter and learning to young children all over the country. With principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, the PNC Foundation has partnered with Sesame Workshop to produce valuable early childhood education programs for children and engage parents, caregivers and family in their learning.
The partnership grew out of PNC support for early childhood education through PNC Grow Up Great and PNC Crezca con Éxito, a bilingual, $350 million, multi-year initiative that began in 2004 to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life. PNC believes that an investment in children makes good economic sense and helps create the dynamic workforce of tomorrow.
School Readiness Resources
Initiatives created in partnership with Sesame Workshop have been instrumental in helping PNC Grow Up Great address relevant issues in early education and expand its school readiness program. Highlights include:
- For Me, for You, for Later: First Steps to Spending, Sharing, and Saving (April 2011) – The fourth in a series of bilingual multi-media outreach kits produced by Sesame for PNC, the kits provide parents, caregivers, and educators with resources to turn everyday moments into financial learning experiences.
- Happy, Healthy, Ready for School: Math Is Everywhere (Sept. 2010) – This multimedia educational kit contains an original Sesame StreetTM DVD, parents and educators guides and an activity book. Together with prior multimedia kits created by Sesame Workshop, PNC has distributed more than 2.6 million kits for free through its bank branch network and online at pncgrowupgreat.com and sesamestreet.org to help children and families broaden their learning opportunities.
- One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure (Nov. 2008) – With major support from the PNC Foundation, Sesame Workshop developed this cross-cultural show, intended for children ages 4–6 and experienced in planetariums or mobile domes, to provide an enriching, exciting and interactive introduction to astronomy. Big Bird, Elmo and Hu Hu Zhu, a Muppet from Zhima Jie, the Chinese co-production of Sesame Street, observe the stars and take an imaginary trip to the moon, to the delight of children in both the United States and China.
PNC Leadership in Early Education
Through Grow Up Great, PNC supports families, educators and community partners to provide innovative opportunities that enhance learning and development in a child’s early years. Since its launch, PNC has distributed more than $60 million in grants to Head Start and other initiatives that support early childhood education. The grants have benefitted more than 1.75 million children and provided professional development to more than 75,000 teachers.
PNC executives have elevated public/private discussions about the importance of access to quality early childhood education. PNC Executive Chairman James E. Rohr serves as honorary chair of the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission along with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett. Comprised of business leaders from across the state, the commission seeks support for public investment in early learning. For his many efforts to benefit early childhood education, Sesame Workshop honored Jim Rohr and PNC with its Corporate Leadership Award in 2007.
In addition to Sesame Workshop, PNC works in partnership with National Head Start Association as well as leading national and local organizations across its multi-state region. To provide issue expertise and guidance for the program, PNC has assembled an Advisory Council of early childhood experts from academia and not-for-profit leaders.
With its expansion into southeast markets in 2012, PNC introduced arts and science initiatives in North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama and with additional partners in Florida where PNC has had a presence. The program provides professional development for teachers, enhances children’s activities and offers families free visits to centers operated by PNC’s arts and science partners. In addition, an ongoing initiative to help improve the quality of science education for underserved preschool children in 14 states and the District of Columbia has funded approximately $11 million to 27 regional science centers.
Employee volunteerism has been vital to the success of Grow Up Great. Through a progressive policy that permits 40 hours a year of paid time off to volunteer, PNC employees have volunteered more than 335,000 hours at early childhood education centers. Altogether, employees have donated more than 500,000 items for use in classrooms or for the personal well-being of preschool children and earned more than $1 million in additional funds for early education centers where they volunteer.