As the effects of COVID-19 continue to impact Charlotte-Mecklenburg, the PNC Foundation has contributed $80,000 to support low-income students at four local preschools.
Charlotte Bilingual Preschool, Lakewood Preschool Cooperative, The Learning Collaborative and Renaissance West Community Initiative are applying the funds to provide critical resources for students and families dealing with economic and social challenges stemming from COVID-19.
“A focus on early childhood development is just as important today as it was prior to the crisis, and many local families are under a tremendous amount of stress, which could be forcing them to prioritize different things,” said Weston Andress, PNC regional president for western Carolinas.
“As our community’s response to the pandemic shifts from one of relief to one of recovery, PNC is dedicated to supporting organizations that are addressing unmet needs and providing crucial services, including at-home learning resources and food assistance, to preschoolers and their families.”
Charlotte Bilingual Preschool’s COVID-19 Relief Project provides students with healthy meals and snacks; technology, including e-tablets, to support remote learning at home; and essential items for students’ families, including baby supplies, toiletries, cleaning products and fresh food.
“The PNC Foundation’s funding of our relief project allows us to extend support to nearly 50 families whose lives have been significantly disrupted by the social, health and economic impacts of COVID-19,” said Banu Valladares, executive director for Charlotte Bilingual Preschool. “PNC is a longtime supporter of Charlotte Bilingual Preschool through its Grow Up Great initiative, and we’re grateful for the extra care and concern PNC has demonstrated for our children and families during this challenging time.”
Lakewood Preschool Cooperative’s COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts also focus on delivering access to at-home learning resources and food.
“PNC’s support has enabled us to purchase and distribute 80 e-tablets, ensuring our students and faculty have the technology infrastructure necessary for using online learning tools and staying apprised of information regarding the current environment,” said Anthony Howell, executive director of Lakewood Preschool Cooperative. “Additionally, the food assistance we were able to provide brought nutrition and nourishment to 37 families.”
The Learning Collaborative’s COVID-19 support grant is helping teachers and teaching assistants deploy TLC@home, a remote learning framework customized for each child and delivered via learning packets, technology platforms, and family support.
“As our community recovers from this crisis, The Learning Collaborative remains committed to educating our young children and assisting their families,” said Pamela Gray, director of development for The Learning Collaborative. “The grant from PNC is allowing us to reach our students in new and unique ways so they can continue to learn and thrive during this period of disruption.”
The Renaissance West Community Initiative’s COVID-19 Relief and Recovery for Families in the Renaissance and Little Rock Neighborhoods Project helps ensure families with young children have access to basic needs, including food, formula and diapers ― as well as educational materials such as books, art supplies and learning kits.
“With COVID-19 keeping many children at home during this uncertain time, it is important ― now more than ever ― to ensure that families with young children have resources to continue pursuing development and education,” said Mack McDonald, chief executive officer for Renaissance West Community Initiative. “We are grateful to PNC for recognizing and addressing the needs of our children.”
PNC’s donation is part of a broader commitment by The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. to provide $30 million in charitable contributions in support of coronavirus relief efforts across the markets in which PNC operates.
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