Early Childhood Education is Crucial: How You Can Help

(StatePoint) New research shows that many pre-K classrooms could benefit from more resources, especially for the most vulnerable children. Ninety-four percent of Head Start teachers report needing more resources to enrich their classrooms, and 84 percent say they are unable to fund experiences they want to provide, in a recent study by the National Head Start Association.

Early education and child development programs, such as Head Start, support the nation’s youngest children during the early critical years. What if you could help those children most in need to receive more classroom resources and learning experiences with a few mouse clicks?

Now you can, thanks to a new $5 million grant from the PNC Foundation to DonorsChoose.org. The grant helps preschool teachers obtain enhanced classroom resources and experiences to inspire their students’ love of learning.

Help a Child

DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that connects individual donors with classrooms in need. This collaboration with PNC helped the charity expand its platform to include Head Start teacher requests.

The Head Start study also noted that 93 percent of teachers either considered buying or bought classroom supplies out of their own pockets; 88 percent reported spending up to $500. These figures suggest that pre-K teachers need more resources to give students the best education possible.

According to DonorsChoose.org, pre-K teacher requests on their site typically range from books to art supplies, science equipment, field trips and more.

How You Can Help

The PNC Foundation entered into this alliance as part of the mission of PNC Grow Up Great, a $350 million, multi-year bilingual initiative in early childhood education. A recent donation of $504,000 was used to “flash fund” 849 open preschool teacher requests in PNC’s footprint.

Individuals can take advantage of the initiative, too. PNC will match donations dollar-for-dollar for pre-K requests listed on DonorsChoose.org that fall within PNC’s primary footprint in 22 states and the District of Columbia, subject to some restrictions and a maximum dollar amount. Donors can make the most of their support by taking advantage of the match.

High-quality early learning prepares children for kindergarten and beyond. When classrooms have the resources they need, teachers are better equipped to inspire a lifelong love of learning.

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