LOUISVILLE, Ky., — Sept. 23, 2021 — Wesley House Community Services, located at 5114 Preston HWY, announced plans to build an outdoor park that combines nature and learning to promote early childhood development, made possible by a $90,000 grant from the PNC Foundation.
A groundbreaking is planned for the fall, with a goal of revealing the WesKids Natural Classroom by year’s end. The classroom will include a mud kitchen, sand, climbing and crawling structures, a garden area, bicycle trail, a nature art area and more.
“The WesKids Natural Classroom is where nature and learning experiences meet,” said Patricia Williams, Wesley House president and CEO. “What many of us grew up calling a playground has evolved into an exploratory, limitless space where brain stimulation, curiosity, social, cognitive and fine motor skills evolve. Natural spaces often are too remotely located for visiting on a regular basis, so it is imperative that we deliberately include nature designs in everyday spaces where children have access. I am thrilled that PNC Grow Up Great understands the value of this space for kids.”
The WesKids Natural Classroom was funded by the PNC Foundation in support of PNC Grow Up Great ® , a bilingual $500 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.
“We are honored to work with Wesley House Community Services on this project,” said Chuck Denny, PNC regional president for Louisville. “The PNC Grow Up Great initiative has served more than seven million children to date. This partnership with Wesley House Community Services is an opportunity to further extend our impact and provide enriching opportunities for preschoolers to explore and discover the world around them.”
Wesley House Community Services addresses the challenge of access to early child experiences, head start education, and child-centered learning for marginalized groups. Reggio-inspired teaching philosophies embrace and cultivate a child’s parent as the first teacher and bridges the gap between home and school. Children guide the teaching focus, and the natural environment is a primary learning tool. LinkedIn.
About PNC Foundation
The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (www.pnc.com), 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 $500 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life. For more information, visit http://www.pncgrowupgreat.com.
About Wesley House
Founded in 1903, Wesley House Community Services provides affordable child development services, out-of-school programs to school-age youth, workforce development and economic empowerment services to adults. We believe that empowering families begins with providing resources and support that has the power to transform families and communities.