Howard County Arts Council Receives Grow Up Great Grant In Support Of Head StART In ART

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The Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) has been awarded a $7,500 PNC Grow Up Great grant from the PNC Foundation for its Head StART in ART program. This grant will allow the Arts Council to continue the Head StART in ART program at the Old Cedar Lane Head Start Center in Columbia for the 2019-2020 school year.

HCAC established the Head StART in ART program in FY2000 to provide hands-on experiences in the arts for pre-K students from low-income families. This program provides students with opportunities to explore the arts and their own creativity under the guidance and inspiration of a professional teaching artist. Head StART in ART places teaching artists in the classrooms for periods of 3 to 6 weeks. The program has been recognized as a model early childhood arts education program by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Maryland State Arts Council.

Coleen West, Howard County Arts Council Executive Director says, "We are extremely proud of the Head StART in ART program. Education is one of the most important tools that we have to beat poverty, and quality early education is the key to success. An essential component of a quality education is the arts. Head StART in ART provides at-risk children with an early introduction to the arts and creative play, which builds social and cognitive skills, encourages exploration, builds self-confidence, and instills a love of discovery and learning that will last a lifetime!"

PNC Grow Up Great is a $350 million, multi-year, bilingual initiative that began in 2004 to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life. To date, the program has served more than 2 million children. Founded by The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., PNC Grow Up Great and PNC Crezca con Exito form a comprehensive, bilingual program designed to help prepare children - particularly underserved children - for success in school and life. Through the program, PNC emphasizes the importance of the first five years of life, which research has shown is critical to long-term achievement, and provides innovative opportunities that assist families, educators and community partners to enhance children's learning and development. An investment in pre-K students makes good economic sense and plants the seeds for the dynamic workforce of tomorrow.

The Head Start Program is a federally funded program that has been helping low-income families and preschool children across the country since 1965. Head Start offers pre-school programs for 3, 4, and 5 year-old children from low-income families, providing them with a stimulating and educational experience in a group setting. This worthwhile program gives the children a "head start" toward a successful future.

For more information, contact the Arts Council at 410-313-2787 or visit the website at

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