Start Them Early. Nurture Their Dreams. Help Them Grow Up Great.

It’s a time as magical as it is short: the first five years, when the world is wide open and everything is full of wonder. It’s also a time of opportunity, when we absorb the knowledge that will stay with us forever. PNC Grow Up Great® and PNC Crezca con Éxito form a $350 million program dedicated to helping prepare America’s youngest children for great things in school and life.

Early Childhood Education:
The Right Cause

The research is compelling: A focus on the years from birth to age five helps reap dividends for society and the economy — better achievement in school, more graduates of high school and college, higher salaries, less crime and drug abuse, fewer people on welfare…on and on. Even better: the chance to feed the passions and curiosity of all those young minds.

An Investment
in the Future

In 2004, while continuing to support local philanthropic initiatives, PNC adopted a corporate-wide program focusing resources on early childhood education to make a tremendous impact. Research and input from employees revealed that focusing on the country’s most treasured resource — young children and their education — wasn’t just the smart thing to do. It was the right thing to do.

Taking Action

Since then, PNC Grow Up Great has distributed more than $90 million in grants and worked with partners like Sesame Workshop® to develop rich educational materials (like the NEW free bilingual Words Are Here, There, and Everywhere Adventure Cards) for children, families and educators. We champion this issue from state capitals to the Capitol itself. And PNC employees have volunteered more than 485,000 hours and counting to make our vision real. To date, the program has served approximately 2.3 million children throughout 19 states and the District of Columbia.

$90Million in Grants

485,000Volunteer Hours

The Early Education Effect

It’s one of the biggest moments of our lives: that morning we walk into school for the very first time. As a society, we’re starting to realize how crucial it is to be ready for that milestone. Starting early makes a difference. Studies show that a child who gets a strong education before the age of five is…

More likely to:

  • graduate high school


  • stay out of jail


  • steer clear of drugs


  • earn a strong salary by age 40


Consider the Returns

For every dollar spent on high-quality early education, society stands to gain up to $16 in long-term savings.

That’s because we’ll spend less on special education programs and problems further on. Less on criminal justice. Less on rehab, welfare, and more. And more children will stay in school longer, go on to own their own homes and cars, and have savings accounts.

Ready for Life

Every child deserves the opportunity to reach her full potential. She deserves the encouragement and resources, too. This is what motivates us — in outreach, offerings for teachers, resources for parents, and the dedication of close to 42,000 PNC employees who have volunteered since the program’s inception.

PNC Grow Up Great: Our Approach

Through PNC Grow Up Great, PNC has been a consistent voice for the importance of quality early childhood education — awarding grants, championing the cause, supporting the creation of educational resources, and volunteering. Our strategy is guided by an advisory council comprised of the foremost authorities in the field.


We’ve awarded more than $90 million to nonprofit organizations that are helping to equip young children for school. They’re focusing on readiness in math, science, financial education and the arts to produce better-prepared, happier children and a stronger American future.


To shine a spotlight on this important issue, PNC has developed an awareness campaign to communicate the importance of school readiness. For parents and teachers, we provide helpful tips, fun activities and other educational resources like the NEW free bilingual Sesame Street® Words Are Here, There and Everywhere Adventure Cards. We've distributed more than 3 million kits for free since the program's inception. More broadly, a strategy of electronic, social, print and broadcast media has garnered billions of media impressions nationally.

3 Million Sesame Street® Multimedia Kits


PNC employees are eligible for 40 hours of paid time off each year to volunteer with Grow Up Great. Employees who volunteer at least 40 hours a year with a qualified nonprofit program earn a $1,000 grant for that center. Groups of employees may also volunteer as a team and earn a grant of up to $3,000. So far, PNC employees have contributed more than 485,000 volunteer hours and donated more than 700,000 items for use in the classroom or by preschool children.


Given the importance of increasing access to quality early education for all children in our communities and our country, PNC’s corporate voice is important in encouraging others to support this cause.

The Latest News from PNC Grow Up Great

Family- Based Education Initiative in Pittsburgh Receives Grant


PNC announces a $1.5 million, two-year grant to support families in developing young children’s vocabulary.

Learn More

Building School Readiness in Kentucky

PNC announces $440,000 grant to launch Save the Children® Early Education Initiative in Louisville.

Learn More


PNC raises vocabulary awareness and helps more than 4,000 preschoolers set new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® title.

Learn More

Today's Tip

Make learning new words an adventure! Choose a descriptive word and organize a scavenger hunt around the house to point out objects that have the trait. For example, squishy could describe a mattress, pillow, pudding, and more!

View All Tips

NEW! Words Audio Podcasts

Follow Abby, Elmo and their friend Buzz Word on a weekly word adventure and help the children in your lives learn new words with these podcasts.  Come back each week to hear a new episode!

Listen Now

Connect With Us

Find out how to get in touch, get grant information, and stay informed about our program.