PNC’s Grow up Great program prepares young kids for long-term success
PHOENIX — KTAR’s Community Spotlight this month focuses on PNC’s Grow up Great program dedicated to setting children ages 0-to-5 up for long-term success in school and life.
PNC developed and has been supporting the Grow up Great Initiative through $500 million over the past 15 years, according to PNC Bank Regional President Cathleen Walker, as research has shown the first five years of life is critical to long-term achievement.
“It’s a huge investment on our collective futures,” Walker said. “The long-term benefit is key here. Research has shown for every dollar spent on quality early-education, more broadly society can reap up to $16 in long-term savings from that.
“In terms of, less social services provided to people as they could become more self-independent and providing early success. Education helps get jobs and provides a better pool of labor for everyone.”
The program also caters to early education teachers with resources available online available to use.
“We have a lot of free resources available to teachers through the Grow up Great program online and otherwise that people could use, and we also work through organizations to find ways to support teachers throughout different communities,” Walker said, as well as various free resources such as book drives and bilingual lesson plans.
PNC has partnered with First Things First, working throughout all of Arizona to provide quality childcare, as well as Southwest Human Development in Phoenix that has a large head-start program.
“There are lots of ways that we work with other organizations in providing grants and support toward that. We also provide a lot of volunteer opportunities for our employees to participate with children as appropriate where there are needs.”