Children’s outdoor learning event coming to Belhaven in September

Published 6:35 pm Wednesday, August 26, 2015

From Beaufort/Hyde Partnership for Children

PNC Grow Up Great has provided funding to the Beaufort/Hyde Partnership for Children to support outdoor play and learning opportunities for young children in Bath and Belhaven. One of the learning opportunities will take place on Sept. 19 during the Intracoastal Waterway Festival in Belhaven. Two performances, one at 10 a.m. and one at 11 a.m., will occur on the main stage during the festival. These performances will be interactive children’s theater, performed by Hannah Easley of the BHM Library and Joan Sears, a Hyde County artist. Children of all ages are encouraged to attend.

Lisa Woolard, executive director of the Beaufort/Hyde Partnership for Children said, “Resources available to support children playing and learning outside in eastern North Carolina are severely limited. We are so appreciative of PNC Grow Up Great’s investment in our communities and our children.”

PNC Regional President Jim Hansen added, “Community-based nature play experiences help children thrive and learn, preparing them for success in school and in life.”

Over the past six months, the project, led by Debra Torrence, a Bath resident who spearheaded local outdoor learning and play efforts, has resulted in an outdoor training and event during the Week of the Young Child in April on the waterfront in Washington. In May, in collaboration with the Wee Pirates Play Outside in Bath Community Coalition, local Girl Scout Troop #3556, Historic Bath Cultural Site and local artists, together provided an outdoor children’s storytelling event in Bath during its annual summer festival, Bath Fest.

When complete, the funding will also partially support each town with an outdoor play boat structure to seed future outdoor learning events.

The project has facilitated start-up community efforts in the respective towns. In Bath, the project will build upon a mini-grant from the Historic Bath Foundation, an outdoor movie theater equipment grant from the Redbox Foundation, a butterfly garden supported by a Lowes Education Toolbox grant and contributions by Scout groups and BMH Regional Library, Historic Bath Cultural Site and community volunteers. In Belhaven, the project will build upon the emerging town Crab Walk trail and recent transformation of a centrally located empty lot into a public play space for children, with support from a KaBoom grant, the Town of Belhaven and faith-based and business networks.

For more information about this project please contact Lisa Woolard at 252-975-4667, ext. 3.

The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, 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 $350 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.

For more information, please visit, and or follow @PNCGrowUpGreat on Twitter.