CINCINNATI, Nov. 14, 2019 – The PNC Foundation announced today that it is awarding a $150,000 grant to the Cincinnati Parks Foundation and Cincinnati Parks as part of the 15th anniversary celebration of PNC Grow Up Great. This bilingual $500 million, multi-year initiative of PNC helps prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.
The grant will replace a 20-year-old playground at Inwood Park, located at 2326 Vine St. The new playground will be accessible to all children and will benefit an underserved community two miles from downtown Cincinnati. Inwood Park is one of eight parks identified in the organization’s Neighborhood Parks Campaign, focusing on the vitalization and improvement of eight facilities spread across neighborhoods throughout the city.
“We are honored to work with Cincinnati Parks and the community of Mount Auburn on this project,” said Kay Geiger, PNC regional president for Cincinnati. “Investing in the revitalization of Inwood Park not only enhances the neighborhood, it shows the residents of the Mount Auburn community that we believe in the future of their historic neighborhood. This playground will be the first of its kind within the Cincinnati Parks facilities and will transform the way our community comes together to thrive and interact through the power of play."
In August, local children were asked to describe what their dream playground would look like, including drawing playground ideas, voting on playground elements and participating in an open discussion. Cincinnati Parks will use the children’s ideas for inspiration in the playground’s final design.
"We are especially excited to be working with the surrounding community and identifying what they'd like to see the project include, after all it's their park,” said Kara Kish, interim director of Cincinnati Parks. “We are also thrilled to once again work with the PNC Foundation and the Parks Foundation on this opportunity to build an engaging feature for future generations of children to enjoy."
In addition to the $150,000 grant, Geiger announced that in April, PNC customers, employees and other community members collected 2,550 children’s books for distribution to early learning organizations as part of the “Great Big Book Drive.” The books were donated to sites that Child Focus, Inc. serves, along with Community Action Agency Head Start, Cincinnati Public Schools and other local early learning centers. PNC also announced that it donated 15 iPads to Children, Inc., Child Focus, Cincinnati-Hamilton County CAA, Northern Kentucky CAC and the William L. Mallory Early Learning Center at Cincinnati State.
PNC Bank provides employees with 40 hours of paid time off each year for Grow Up Great volunteerism. Employees can earn grants of up to $3,000 each year to be awarded to a partner early learning organization. For the anniversary year, PNC is doubling that amount to up to $6,000. To date, employee volunteerism has resulted in $7.2 million in grants across PNC’s markets.
Since 2004, PNC Grow Up Great has focused on helping children, especially underserved children, beyond the classroom by supporting learning and social-emotional development at home and across communities through free resources and tools provided to parents, guardians, caregivers and neighborhood organizations.
Access to high-quality early childhood education and resources is critical. Research shows that quality early education reduces dropout rates, poverty and crime while improving the skills of tomorrow’s workforce.
Highlights of PNC Grow Up Great’s impact over the last 15 years include:
- Awarding more than $165 million in grants through the PNC Foundation to support young children in the communities we serve.
- Encouraging families, caregivers and teachers to inspire a love of learning through educational resources and experiences for more than five million children.
- Demonstrating leadership by leveraging our relationships with the business community, policymakers and other key stakeholders to elevate discussions about the importance of access to high-quality early childhood education.
- Donating employee time, skills and expertise in support of the mission. Through Grow Up Great, PNC employees have contributed more than 940,000 volunteer hours and 1.4 million items for use in classrooms and the personal well-being of young children.
The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (www.pnc.com), 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. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a bilingual $500 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.