PNC Foundation Awards $46,000 Grant To Brevard Zoo
By Space Coast Daily // August 28, 2013
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.
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.”
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