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Children's Museum to revamp area for preschoolers

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The Children's Museum of Indianapolis has received a three-year, $700,000 grant to renovate its early childhood exhibit, Playscape.

The PNC Foundation announced the grant on Wednesday. It is the first major gift the PNC Foundation has made in Indianapolis through its signature philanthropic cause, Grow Up Great, a 10-year, $100 million bilingual initiative to improve early childhood education.

PNC Foundation receives its principal funding from the Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group, which acquired National City Bank in 2008 with the help of government bailout loans.

National City had long been Indianapolis’ No. 2 bank. Thanks to the deal, PNC now has 89 branches, 149 ATMs and about 1,100 employees in the Indianapolis area.

The museum's nearly 20-year-old Playscape area is an interactive exhibit for children ages 5 and younger where kids can create pictures, play in sand and build with blocks. The renovation is expected to be completed by early 2013.

The grant also will pay for teacher training workshops on early childhood development and how to use the exhibit to improve school readiness.

The 473,000-square-foot museum is the largest children's museum in the world and the most visited children's museum in the country.

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