YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Nearly a dozen local community organizations are getting a helping hand keeping youngsters busy this summer.

Managers and employees from PNC Bank locations in the Valley stopped by the OH WOW! Children’s Center in Youngstown Tuesday morning to spend time with kids as part of the bank’s efforts to support early childhood education.

The PNC Foundation recently donated $55,000 to nine local agencies to help pay for programs in science, technology and the arts. Some of those agencies are OH WOW!, the local YWCA and the United Way.

“Studies have shown that if kids just stay home they tend to regress, and they almost fall back four or five months. For those children that stay engaged during the summertime, they really get a head-start going into school in September,” said PNC Bank Regional President Ted Schmidt.

As part of its “Grow Up Great” program, PNC offers its employees up to 40 hours of paid time off each year to volunteer at these programs.

Over the last 12 years, the PNC Foundation has donated $350 million to support early childhood programming.