PNC Foundation Awards Seven Figure Grant To Support Science City

PNC Foundation Awards Seven Figure Grant To Support Science CityToday, the PNC Foundation announced a five-year, $1 million grant to Union Station's Science City in support of science education that will benefit approximately 14,000 members of the community, with a focus on Head Start preschool students, children and families. The funding, made possible through the PNC Foundation as part of its signature philanthropic early education initiative, PNC Grow Up Great, will also support the establishment of a multipurpose classroom space at Science City and touch an additional 260,000 annual visitors to the science center. The grant is PNC's largest to date in Kansas City.

"We've had the privilege of funding the 'One World, One Sky' show at Science City's Arvin Gottlieb planetarium for more than 10 years, and this grant reflects our strong relationship with Science City and commitment to school readiness across the region," said Dale Klose, PNC regional president for Kansas City. "Science City's focus on helping preschoolers, educators and families understand the world around us is perfectly aligned with the mission of PNC Grow Up Great. We are committed to helping young children in the community achieve success in school and life."

Education for the Educators:

Through the PNC Grow Up Great program, professionals at Science City will implement the Early Childhood Hands-On Science (ECHOS) curriculum, which was developed and tested with funding from the U.S. Department of Education's Institute for Education Sciences to meet the need for a comprehensive preschools science curriculum. The curriculum is research based, aligned with early childhood standards, and provides a foundation for critical thinking. This grant will include a train-the-trainer model led by Science City, to help implement ECHOS in 16 Head Start classrooms across three PNC Grow Up Great partner sites. Additionally, this initiative will include two annual in-classroom educator coaching visits.

A Program for Teachers, Students and Families:

Among the highlights of the program for teachers and students will be annual visits to Science City to explore new Early Childhood exhibits and enjoy special programming in the multipurpose classroom space. ECHOS learning kits and supporting materials will also be provided to enhance classroom science areas along with funding for the purchase of STEM early education books for classroom libraries.

Expanding on Long-Standing Relationship:

"We are thrilled to expand our long-standing and strong relationship with PNC and the PNC Grow Up Great program," said George Guastello, president and CEO of Union Station. "Our sincere appreciation goes to the entire PNC organization. Their support of our efforts date back to 2006 and have added greatly to our internationally-awarded success. The Greater Kansas City community of educators, preschoolers and their families will all benefit from this latest initiative. In an increasingly competitive, global environment that will depend on a well-educated workforce, Science City is ready to serve as the perfect home for a program designed to help our future leaders build their STEM knowledge and prepare for success in the classroom and in life."

Extending Science City Reach To Both Sides Of State Line:

"This exciting news will impact both sides of our State Line and focus on the diverse, young promise and potential across our community," said Ramón Murguía, Vice Chairman of Union Station's Board of Directors. "More than ever, our kids need these types of advantages to be best prepared for success in school and beyond. It was only six months ago that we announced how Science City was "growing younger" with a major expansion of our early learning places and programs. We're now well underway and today, our tremendous friends at PNC are helping push those plans to new heights by extending their long-standing commitment to Science City and Greater Kansas City in profound fashion. It's already been a great year at Kansas City's Science Center and it just keeps getting better."

The PNC Foundation:

The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (, 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 $350 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life. For more information, visit

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