Bethlehem Press

Monday, September 16, 2019
CONTRIBUTED PHOTOFrom left, Deidra Vachier, CSC Vice President, Early Childhood Development; Lauren Allen, PNC Vice President, Director, Client and Community Relations, and Paula Margraf, CSC CEO and President at The Learning Hub - Center City. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOFrom left, Deidra Vachier, CSC Vice President, Early Childhood Development; Lauren Allen, PNC Vice President, Director, Client and Community Relations, and Paula Margraf, CSC CEO and President at The Learning Hub - Center City.

Community Services for Children receives $50,000 PNC Foundation grant

Saturday, August 31, 2019 by The Press in Business Showcase

Community Services for Children (CSC) has received a $50,000 grant over two years from the PNC Foundation in support of PNC Grow Up Great®, a bilingual $500-million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.

The grant will help provide enhanced educational opportunities to six Head Start classrooms at The Learning Hub - City Center. The public-private collaboration between CSC’s Head Start program and City Center Corp. provides a community nucleus that serves 110 preschool children and their families with high-quality early education and involves partners such as Allentown Art Museum, Allentown Symphony Orchestra, The Baum School of Art, Cops ‘n’ Kids Easton, CACLV, Da Vinci Science Center, The Literacy Center, Lehigh University, Emmaus Public Library and the Music Play Patrol.

“PNC recognizes the role kindergarten readiness plays in the well-being of local children, their families and ultimately, our economy,” said Pete Danchak, PNC regional president for Northeastern Pennsylvania.

“By preparing our youngest students for educational success, we help build a solid foundation for the future of this region,” Danchak said.

PNC’s funding will support a Scientist-in-Residence, who will integrate advanced STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills and lessons in the classroom, including experimentation, coding, algorithms and sequencing languages.

The support also makes possible an Artist-in-Residence, who will integrate art processes in the classroom including visual arts, music and drama, working with teachers to engage children in experiential learning, which is the process for making meaning directly from the learning experience.

These program enhancements help build 21st-century skills including language development, critical thinking, innovation skills, problem solving, creativity and teamwork.

“This PNC Foundation grant will have a direct impact on the lives of young children and their families living in Allentown,” said CSC CEO and President Paula Margraf.

“We know that poverty is the greatest barrier to school success, and these funds will allow us to provide specialized enrichment programing that will ensure children are not only ready for kindergarten, but can compete with their more economically advantaged peers, putting them on a path to long-term success,” Margraf said.

CSC is a regional leader in early childhood education and family services affecting the lives of 40,000 children annually. CSC’s Head Start-Early Head Start of the Lehigh Valley program is recognized as a national center of excellence and innovation.

The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, 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.