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TPS receives grant from the PNC Foundation


February, 2020:  The Toledo Public Schools Foundation receives $150,000 from the PNC Foundation to fund a program that will introduce families and their young children in Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority (LMHA) neighborhoods to high-quality early learning. 


Pathway to Pre-K, powered by PNC Grow Up Great® and funded by the PNC Foundation, is hosting free educational classes in the Weiler Homes neighborhood through May 2020. The goal is to educate parents on the importance of teaching children age birth to 5, and to prepare these children to enter preschool. Pathway to Pre-K was designed to help children become accustomed to learning outside of the home. 


“It has been proven that children who begin learning early are better prepared to succeed in school and life, yet more than 900 children living in LMHA communities do not participate in early learning programs for a variety of reasons,” said Dr. Romules Durant, superintendent of Toledo Public Schools. “The grant from the PNC Foundation will help us fill the learning void between birth and kindergarten, giving Toledo’s youngest residents a head start on life.”


The $150,000 grant from the PNC Foundation was provided as part of the 15th anniversary celebration of PNC Grow Up Great, a multi-year, bilingual initiative to support high-quality early education. 


“We wanted our grant to really make an impact, so we worked closely with the schools and the housing authority to determine the greatest need in the Toledo community,” said Bill McDonnell, PNC regional president for Toledo. “We found there was a significant need to help young children begin learning in a friendly, non-intimidating environment, so they’re ready for preschool and beyond.”


Pathway to Pre-K officially launched in November with a handful of pilot classes offered at Weiler Homes. Each session is held twice monthly for two hours, during which parents are encouraged to engage in educational activities with their children. Each class begins with a variety of play activities available to the families, such as puzzles, story time and outdoor play. This is followed by a healthy lunch and a lesson in life skills, such as teeth brushing, hand washing and other basic lessons critical to young learners.


Parents are encouraged to help their child continue learning outside of the classroom by taking home educational materials such as crayons, scissors, puzzles, and other items designed to improve hand-eye coordination.


“Children are ready to begin learning at birth,” said Demetria M. Simpson, president and chief executive officer of Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority. “We want to give parents the tools they need to start developing their child’s mind right away, so they develop a love of learning long before they go to school.”




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Revised: 02/25/20 11:54:11 -0800.




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