A $150,000 grant from the PNC Foundation will support an early childhood education initiative in Indianapolis. The three years of funding for St. Mary’s Child Center will support a pre-kindergarten partnership between Indianapolis Public Schools and Butler University Laboratory School.
It will create professional development opportunities for 180 educators and expand applied neuroscience research in the preschool setting, as well as provide yoga practice to boost students’ focused attention skills. In all, PNC says the program will support school-readiness efforts for 2,000 students.
Butler University College of Education Dean Ena Shelley, who helped design the Laboratory School concept, said "our program provides a professional development site for educators and serves as a model for other school systems, but most importantly, BLS has helped transform how we serve young children in our state. Shelley helped design the Lab School concept and has worked with IPS to oversee its curriculum and assessment development."
The funding represents the second grant from PNC toward the IPS/BLS partnership. The bank and Butler’s School of Education have been partners in pre-kindergarten efforts since 2013.