PNC Foundation Awards $46,000 Grant To Brevard Zoo

By  //  August 28, 2013

Loading the player ...
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Delicious Digg This Stumble This

will fund childhood education program

ABOVE VIDEO: Brevard Zoo in Melbourne is a small zoo that does big things. Their mission is “Wildlife Conservation through Education and Participation.”

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — The PNC Foundation has awarded Brevard Zoo a $46,000 grant that will fund a two-year early childhood education program.

brevard zoo

Half of the pre-k students will be participating through Head Start programs run by Brevard Public Schools, while the other half of the children will come from private facilities that participate in the School Readiness (subsidized) child care and Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) programs administered by the Early Learning Coalition of Brevard County, Inc. (Brevard Zoo image)

The program is designed to help 800 pre-k students and their families, and 60 early childhood educators enhance their appreciation and knowledge of nature through hands on experiences.

Half of the pre-k students will be participating through Head Start programs run by  Brevard Public Schools, while the other half of the children will come from private facilities that  participate in the School Readiness (subsidized) child care and Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK)  programs administered by the Early Learning Coalition of Brevard County, Inc.

“Research shows the measurable impact school readiness has on the success of children in  school and life,” said PNC Regional President Craig Grant speaking on behalf of the Foundation.

 UNIQUE EDUCATIONAL ENVIROMENT

“By letting our youngest citizens interact in unique educational activities, where they can learn about wildlife from across the planet, we are strategically investing and broadening their knowledge of the world  around them.”

Zoo keeper Nikki Maginness sometimes talks back to the animals at the Brevard Zoo, including Gemma, an Amazon parrot known for her nonsensical “poetry.”  (image by Robert Hughes)

Zoo keeper Nikki Maginness sometimes talks back to the animals at the Brevard Zoo, including Gemma, an Amazon parrot known for her nonsensical “poetry.” (image by Robert Hughes)

With the funding from PNC, Brevard Zoo will pilot an integrated approach for bringing outdoor education to economically challenged three- and four-year-old students.

The multi-faceted program is  built with components the Zoo education staff has been developing for the past five years.

The first component of the program is a six-hour workshop the Zoo will host in September.

At  this workshop, invited teachers will be trained by Brevard Zoo facilitators in tools to bring nature to their  classroom.

Workshops will include an introduction to components of the Brevard Zoo program, as well  as training in the nationally recognized Growing Up WILD education program.

Teachers also will  receive a learning kit designed to enhance nature learning in the classroom.

“Research shows the measurable impact school readiness has on the success of children in school and life,” said PNC Regional President Craig Grant.

Other components of this program include the Zoo visiting each facility with animals.

A family day program at the facilities to engage parents in experiencing nature with their child, a Zoo field trip in  January or February 2014 and, finally, a family festival where all students and their families are invited  to the Zoo on Saturday, March 15


Click here to contribute your news or announcements Free