Central Michigan University has been awarded a $375,000 grant from the PNC Foundation that will benefit a variety of programs on campus. Included is a five-year grant worth at least $150,000 that will be used to support pre-K educational enrichment programming and professional development opportunities for educators in CMU’s Child Development and Learning Laboratory.
The grant is part of the PNC Grow Up Great program, a $350 million initiative in early childhood education to help prepare children for success in school and life and is in addition to the PNC Foundation’s prior gift of $120,000 to the university.
Tim Salisbury, PNC Financial Services Group regional president for mid-Michigan, will award the first check for $30,000 at a 10 a.m. ceremony April 22 in the CMU Education and Human Services Building Room 146.
The grant will allow CMU to establish a Visiting Educator Exchange Program to bring an annual international artist, educator or scholar to campus to provide educational opportunities in early childhood programming.
“CMU’s Child Development and Learning Laboratory is one of the leading programs of its kind in Michigan,” said Salisbury. “PNC supports this type of programming because it will greatly impact local families while serving as a national model for pre-K education.”
The exchange program will consist of two components:
- A visiting educator who will offer workshops and enrichment opportunities for pre-K children, pre- and in-service teachers, and CMU faculty; and
- A return trip by CDLL staff to the visiting educator’s home site to continue an exploration of best practices in early childhood education.
This programming aims to provide educational enrichment activities that benefit children today, while also providing the tools and skills needed for students and educators to incorporate into their own programs and classrooms.
“This award from PNC Bank strengthens our program by providing a unique opportunity for children, their families and the community,” said Margaret Desormes, director of CDLL. “Being able to have a resident artist, Roberta Pucci from Italy, working directly with young children will provide many opportunities for professional development within the early childhood community and help the children express their ideas through art.”
The PNC Foundation receives its principle funding from the PNC Financial Services Group and actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture.
CMU’s CDLL enrolls 68 preschool children per year, with at least 50 percent of those being Head Start participants. Accredited through the National Association for the Education of Young Children and focused with a Reggio Emilia curricular approach, CDLL incorporates families, teachers and students as equal partners in the learning environment.
As part of the College of Education and Human Services’ Human Development and Family Studies Area, the CDLL serves as a facility for training, and for student and faculty research.
Media are welcome to cover the ceremony.