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 formed a $350 million program dedicated to helping prepare America's youngest children for great things in school and life. 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. 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. Since then, PNC Grow Up Great has distributed more than $73 million in grants and worked with partners like SesameWorkshop to develop rich educational materials for children, families and educators. They champion this issue from state capitals to the Capitol itself. And PNC employees have volunteered more than 410,000 hours and counting to make their vision real. To date, the program has served approximately 2 million children throughout 19 states and the District of Columbia. Sesame Workshop, the creators of Sesame Street, developed these free, bilingual multimedia kits in partnership with PNC Grow Up Great. They're a great way to help turn everyday experiences into learning opportunities. You can download these kits in PDF at the PNC website, pick up their latest free resources at any PNC Branch or order them over the phone at 1-877-PNC-GROW (1-877-762-4769).