Preschool children from the Coleman A. Young Elementary School in northwest Detroit crowded around Pistons legend Earl Cureton, who read Pincy Saves the Day with four-year-old Erin Chambers on his lap helping him turn pages.
It’s the story of a brave little Cocker Spaniel puppy, who dreams of serving in the K-9 unit at the North American International Auto Show and winds up saving the day for numerous people.
“Erin loves to read, this will only make her more interested,” say her parents Karen and Mike Chambers.
It was all part of a book giveaway created by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association and the PNC Foundation. Approximately 65 Detroit Public School preschool children and their teachers and parents were there and each child received a copy of the book and a stuffed animal version of its hero.
“These children are our future,” says Paul Sabatini, chairman of the 2016 North American International Auto Show and a Lincoln dealer. “The education they receive today will help them take on the jobs of society tomorrow. This is why we are giving away 500 books to pre-schoolers in Detroit and offering an education day at the auto show for students all over southeast Michigan.”
The student day has continued five consecutive years.
Since 1976 the auto dealers have raised more than $105.2 million for children and youth charities, more than half in the last 12 years. More than $48 million of those funds were raised in the last 10 years. The children’s book is the first foray into youth engagement.
“Pincy Saves the Day was created to entertain children with a wonderful story that takes place right in their own backyard,” says PNC Regional President Ric DeVore. “Vocabulary is considered a vital education building block and has become a significant focus within early learning.”
Families could purchase the stuffed dog at the auto show this year, but not afterward. The book is only available to Detroit school kids. The storybook author is Gina Joseph. Jamie Ruthenberg is the illustrator.
“This book not only underscores the importance of childhood reading, but will keep the experience of attending the auto show in their minds well after they’ve left the building,” says Rod Alberts, NAIAS executive director.
DADA and PNC plan to publish a children’s book a year with new adventures of Pincy.
PNC has long been an advocate of early childhood development. It began Grow Up Great, a $350 million, multi-year, bilingual initiative, in 2004. That program helps prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life. It focuses on underserved children and provides the leadership, advocacy, funding, volunteers and educational resources to help families, educators and community partners provide innovative opportunities that enhance children’s learning and development.