A grant from the PNC Foundation to acquire Chromebooks and print educational booklets will help families participate in early learning efforts during COVID-19
TAMPA, Fla., April 30, 2020 – Lutheran Services of Florida (LSF) Head Start Centers announced today that the PNC Foundation has awarded a $21,000 grant to equip families with educational resources, including 30 Chromebooks during this pandemic. Consequently, this grant affords LSF the opportunity to continue educating the more than 5,400 children it serves through virtual learning for the remainder of the academic school year.
Most of the families served by LSF in the Head Start program are below the federal poverty line and face unique challenges at home. Understanding its client’s great need, the organization sought funding streams during the onset of the coronavirus to ensure it could bring resources to families’ long term. To enhance in-home learning, LSF educators created 6,900 supplemental early learning educational activity booklets, tailored to age and native language, to better prepare parents for home schooling and provide a more hands-on experience for kids.
In this context, three different PNC regional markets in Jacksonville, West & Central Florida and Southeast Florida joined forces to offer this grant to LSF.
“As we navigate these tough times together, the health and well-being of our customers, employees and the communities we serve remains our top priority,” said Chad Loar, PNC regional president for West and Central Florida on behalf of the other two regional presidents in Florida. “Through PNC’s grant, families around the state will be able to arm their children with the resources necessary to keep their kids at home during this pandemic, while enhancing their early learning journey toward a successful education.”
LSF continues to work with those impacted, providing a variety of solutions that make the most sense for meeting their particular needs.
“Connectivity is incredibly important during times of crisis, especially for those who struggle financially,” said Bob Bialas, executive vice president of LSF Children and Head Start Services. “We are grateful for our association with PNC and on behalf of our Head Start families we thank them for choosing us.”
The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (www.pnc.com), actively 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. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a bilingual $500 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.
LSF Head Start serves more than 5,400 children and families in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Palm Beach and Duval counties. The virtual school has shown tremendous success with participation averaging 70 percent throughout the programs.
To partner with LSF, contact Jim Clark, director of community relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 813-415-7231. Visit www.lsfnet.org/covid19/ for the latest information on LSF’s response to the pandemic.
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Terri Durdaller, LSF Vice President of Communications