YWCA Central Alabama Recipient of Grant Funding from PNC Foundation

October 17, 2012

The PNC Foundation recently awarded the YWCA Child Development Center a grant for its Teaching Understanding for Math and Science (TUMS) initiative. The TUMS initiative enhances how teachers teach math and science and incorporates technology to promote learning. The grant funding was used to provide document cameras, LCD projectors and tablets. The use of these materials allow for more in-depth demonstrations and teaching making the hidden process of thinking visible.

The YWCA Family Resource Center was also a recipient of grant funding for the Summer CREW program and GED preparation classes. The Summer CREW program provided work training and enrichment opportunities for teenagers that live in YWoodlawn teens ages 14-18.

With a target date of Spring 2013, the FRC will add GED preparation classes to its vast array of programming. Still in planning stages, this program will provide community residents access to software needed to study for the GED exam.

The PNC Foundation's priority is to form partnerships with community-based nonprofit organizations within the markets PNC serves in order to enhance educational opportunities for children, particularly underserved pre-K children through our signature, PNC Grow Up Great program, and to promote the growth of targeted communities through economic development initiatives.

PNC Grow Up Great is a cumulative $350 million, multi-year bilingual initiative to help prepare children from birth to age five - with a focus on underserved children - for success in school and life. It is a comprehensive, corporate-based school readiness program committed to helping produce stronger, smarter and healthier children, families and communities.

When asked why PNC chose to partner with the YW, Jim Hansen, PNC Regional President stated "PNC came to Alabama in March 2012 through the acquisition of RBC Bank (USA). As a 160-year old organization, our chief philanthropic priority is early childhood education. As we arrived to Birmingham and our Alabama/Southeast markets, it was vital to understand and get to know key early childhood partners in the community. Through the warm reception of these partners to include JCCEO, Childcare Resources and McWane Science Center, we were introduced to Suzanne Durham at the YWCA. The tireless work she and her staff do on behalf of early childhood education, among other services to the community, is just outstanding. Quality early childcare matters and they are a true reflection of this fact."

The YWCA Central Alabama facilitates two child care programs. Calico Corner is offered to address the critical shortage of quality, licensed, affordable child care for children of working families in our community. It serves predominantly working poor families, including many single parent families and formerly homeless families. The YW's other child care program, KIDS Korner, provides a quality program for children of homeless families while their parents look for work and housing. The KIDS Korner curriculum focuses on building self-esteem and security for these children whose lives are in traumatic transition, since children are often the forgotten victims of homelessness.

Both Calico Corner and KIDS Korner are nationally accredited - a feat that less that 10% of all child care centers accomplish. Both programs adhere to the guidelines prescribed in the Alabama Developmental Standards for Preschool Children handbook. These guidelines focus not only cognitive skills related to school readiness math, science, social studies, reading - but also approaches to learning including initiative, persistence, curiosity and creativity.

The YWCA would like to extend a special thank you to our friends at PNC for their dedication to the unique children whom we serve.

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