Pictured, from left to right, are Suzanne Joseph, PNC Regional Manager; Michelle Dummer, FIA Assistant Curator of Education; Jennifer Sturdy, PNC Director of Client and Community Relations; Ashley Cayton, Clio Assistant Branch Manager; Monique Desormeau, FIA Curator of Education, and David Reid, PNC Client Advisor.

As the lead crisis remains at the forefront of citizens’ concerns, The Flint Institute of Arts has received a $100,000 grant from the PNC Foundation to support a new Head Start-based Success through Art (START) program designed to benefit children, ages 3 to 5, who are participating in the Head Start, Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) and Child Care Network of Flint.

The grant from the PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC), will allow the Flint Institute of Arts to reach 3,100 Flint-area preschool children each year for the next three years. Representatives from the Flint Institute of Arts will provide training, primarily in classrooms, that will focus on language, early literacy, cognitive skill, math and emotional skill development—areas that have been identified as challenging for children who have been exposed to lead.

“PNC is committed to strengthening the communities where we do business,” said Tim Salisbury, PNC regional president for Mid-Michigan. “This program will focus on the long-term well-being of Flint’s most vulnerable residents—children aged 3 to 5—by addressing the well-known link between early childhood arts education and higher achievement in other cognitive and academic domains.“

In addition to the educational sessions provided by the Flint Institute of Arts, each participating family will receive family literacy kits, as well as PNC Grow Up Great passports and digital book downloads.

“The START program is ideal for providing multisensory and experiential learning and an art-rich environment to support creative development and improve school readiness of children from the ages of three to five,” said Monique M. Desormeau, Flint Institute of Arts Curator of Education.

To learn more about the PNC Grow Up Great initiative, go to www.pncgrowupgreat.com. Follow PNC at Twitter.com/PNCNews and YouTube.com/PNC.