ATLANTA, Oct. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Efforts to improve arts and science skills among Atlanta preschoolers and support Georgia's quality ranking system for child care centers received a boost today in the form of $1.2 million in grants from the PNC Foundation.
Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Sheltering Arms Early Education & Family Centers, and Young Audiences, Woodruff Art Center will share a three-year, $1 million grant to enhance access to arts and science resources for hundreds of pre-k students, their families and early childhood educators in lower-income communities.
In addition, a $200,000 grant from the PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (NYSE: PNC), will support Quality Rated, Georgia's new quality rating system to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early care and education programs.
" Georgia's children are the future of our state and have the right to a quality early education that supports their individual potential," said Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. "These funds from PNC will be used to support non-profit early care and education programs throughout Georgia as they raise their standards beyond licensing compliance and become Quality Rated."The Georgia Family Connection Partnership will assist early childhood education centers throughout the state to help raise their quality ratings. The statewide organization will use the PNC grant to provide professional development conferences for early childhood education centers in low- to moderate-income communities. The sessions will help centers meet goals set under the state's new Quality Rated system. "Our support of science and arts education for area preschoolers is a strategic investment to help children succeed in school and life," said PNC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James E. Rohr. "This early education initiative represents a commitment to the rich, cultural energy that has distinguished Atlanta and furthers our investment in school readiness." Under the arts and science initiative, more than 500 Sheltering Arms' students will benefit from field trips and an expanded arts and science focused curriculum, and their families will receive hands-on learning resources and complimentary family passes to the Fernbank Museum and Woodruff Arts. The grant will also fund professional development workshops, classroom supplies and other resources for 26 early childhood educators.