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October 25, 2018


The YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge & South Amboy has received notification of a grant award in the amount of $7,500 from the PNC Foundation to be used to implement an Introduction to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Program at the Harborview Early Learning Center in Perth Amboy.  This grant is unique in that the curriculum will focus on teaching and learning activities through a STEM lens for 2-4 year olds.  The PNC Foundation is a long-time supporter of non-profit organizations and an advocate for educational programs geared towards children and youth, especially for pre-school children, with a focus on a STEM course of study.

The funding will support the costs of out-of-school academic STEM programming for the pre-school children.  “We believe that augmenting learning after the school day ends will provide academic support and build confidence, improve social skills, create a sense of belonging, and make learning fun” said Cindy Shields, Senior Child Care Director for the YMCA of MEWSA.  The curriculum will be introduced through cross-contextual learning, i.e. learning math skills in the classroom, but then taking the students outside to practice counting real objects.  This method will also blend math and science by stimulating questions about nature, exploring different sizes, shapes, patterns and quantities, all in a natural environment. “We are firm believers that it is never too early to introduce STEM concepts into our early education programs”, said Rose Cushing, CEO & President of the YMCA of MEWSA.  “It will prepare the children for success in college, career and life”.  The program will be held during the regular school year, from September through June.

The YMCA has previously received funding from the PNC Foundation for other STEM-related programs, Extended Summer Learning, and a Scratch Jr., program that teaches coding and computer programming skills to pre-school children.

For more information about the Harborview Early Learning Center or other YMCA Childcare Programs, please contact Cindy Shields at or 732-340-9622.