Grow Up GreatAL!VE, the destination health park in Charlotte has been awarded $6,000 from the PNC Foundation in recognition of the volunteer efforts of PNC employees Jacky Halliwill, Jonathan Novestke, Matthew Bogusz, Lynsey Adams, Sarah Kopulos, and Layla Graham, who earned the grant for the organization through PNC’s Grants for Great Hours program. The program rewards employee volunteerism by presenting a grant to the child care center assisted by the employee/employees.
GROW, the children’s recreational and enrichment area at AL!VE, serves nearly 1,000 area children monthly through its early childhood education programs. Studies have shown that children who receive quality early education are more likely to do well in school, graduate on time, obtain a meaningful job and contribute to the community.
“GROW plans to use the grant funds to purchase educational and ‘pretend play’ themed equipment, as well as large-motor equipment for infants, all of which are areas where our curriculum was lacking,” said Laurie Newland, GROW manager. “We are so thankful for the support provided through PNC and their volunteers and foundation.”
PNC provided the funding in support of Grow Up Great, its $350 million multi-year bilingual program in early childhood education that began in 2004. In honor of the initiative’s 10th anniversary, PNC is doubling the amount an employee, or groups of employees, can earn for a center after volunteering a set number of hours.  For 2016, an individual grant is now $2,000.  A team of two to three employees who volunteer for 60 hours collectively can earn a $3,000 grant and four to 10 employees who volunteer for 100 hours collectively can earn a $6,000 grant for their center.
“PNC recognizes the role kindergarten readiness plays in the wellbeing of local children, their families and ultimately, our economy,” said Tim Salisbury, PNC regional president for Mid-Michigan. “By preparing our youngest students for educational success, we help build a solid foundation for the future of this region.”
PNC encourages employee involvement in Grow Up Great through a progressive policy that permits up to 40 hours a year of paid time off for volunteerism. Since the Grant for Great Hours launch in 2005, PNC has awarded more than $1.63 million to early childhood education centers through the volunteerism program.

Article submitted by PNC.