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Celebrating Ten Years of PNC Grow Up Great

Alliance Theatre, Fernbank Museum of Natural History Celebrate 10th Anniversary of PNC Foundation, PNC Grow Up Great Relationship

PNC contributions to Alliance, Fernbank benefitted more than 13,000 Atlanta students

Alliance Theatre and Fernbank Museum of Natural History are pleased to announce the 10th anniversary of their association with the PNC Foundation in support of PNC Grow Up Great®. Through this unique relationship, the arts and sciences have received $1.5 million from PNC Foundation, and over 13,000 pre-K students have participated in dozens of field trips to see a Theatre for the Very Young Production at the Alliance and hands-on STEAM programming at the museum.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary, the Alliance Theatre and Fernbank Museum will host a celebratory event as part of the Alliance’s annual Toddler Takeover Festival on Saturday, April 29, 2023 for all PNC Grow Up Great pre-K students and their families to visit the Alliance for a day of free theater performances, art-making, outdoor dance performances, music and much more. 

“For the past 10 years, we have gladly supported the Alliance Theatre and Fernbank Museum through our PNC grants and programming; and we are proud to have given Atlanta’s youngest students and their families access to free, performing arts events and historic natural science exhibits,” said Eddie Meyers, PNC regional president for Georgia. “We know when there's instruction outside of the classroom that includes fun, hands-on activities, children have a better chance of learning and retaining the information. These fieldtrips accomplish that in spades.”
As the number of field trips decline across the country, the relationship between Alliance Theatre, Fernbank Museum of Natural History and PNC Grow Up Great ensures that Atlanta Public Schools’ earliest learners benefit from the academic and social emotional growth that results from out-of-the-classroom learning opportunities. Research conducted through the Woodruff Arts Center’s Multi-Visit Program in partnership with the University of Arkansas’ National Endowment for the Arts Research Lab, shows that students who attend multiple art-centered field trips have higher levels of social-emotional skills, stronger school engagement and higher standardized test scores. 

“Plus, studies have shown that 90% of a child’s brain develops by age five, which is why at PNC, we understand that a well-rounded education in and out of the classroom is a strategic investment in Atlanta,” added Meyers.

Support for Atlanta Public Schools

  • In addition to field trips, the Alliance and Fernbank provide research-based support to Atlanta Public Schools and select Sheltering Arms early learning teachers, students, and families, to develop key early literacy and academic skills that will contribute to “scaffolding STEM concepts” and long-term academic and developmental success.  
  • Each of the 61 pre-K classrooms that feed into Atlanta Public Schools Kindergarten program receive special programming from Fernbank science educators and Alliance teaching artists. Teachers become equipped with tools to assist in increasing early literacy skills through arts integration, making learning fun for students.
  • Integrated arts and science classrooms will receive a 12-session, Georgia Wolf Trap - Early Learning Through the Arts STEAM - residency and four planning sessions with an Alliance Theatre teaching artist, two customized workshops, streaming access to all Alliance virtual productions, and a private field trip to Fernbank. Students will also receive Fernbank-curated science learning resource kits that include books, exploratory toys, and discounted admission to the museum. 

Furthermore, the relationship with PNC has also supported the development of two collaborations between the Alliance and Fernbank, the Bernhardt Theatre for the Very Young production, DINOSAUR, and the animated short, THE CURIOUS CARDINAL. 

 “Over the years, I have had the privilege of witnessing hundreds of students and countless educators experience the wonderful partnership we have with Alliance and Fernbank through the PNC Grow up Great initiative,” said Bridget L. Bailey, early learning coordinator for the Atlanta Public Schools Office of Early Learning. “This unique collaboration has been instrumental in connecting educational learning experiences with drama and science, while providing unimaginable experiences for early learners in our district.”

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