South Carolina Aquarium looks to wade into climate research (copy)

The South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston is adding a new play area for toddlers with a grant from the PNC Foundation. File

A nonprofit that's funded by the parent company of PNC Bank is giving the South Carolina Aquarium another $150,000 for a new toddler play area and educational program at the Charleston visitor attraction.

Officials plan to unveil the installation from the PNC Foundation on Nov. 17, according to an announcement Thursday.

The most recent grant brings the total from the foundation for the aquarium's Early Learning Initiative to $225,000 since 2013. Jim Hansen, PNC Financial's Eastern Carolinas president, is on the S.C. Aquarium board.

The Kids Coast toddler play area will replace a boat that was on the second floor, S.C. Aquarium spokeswoman Bethany Kelley said. The boat was aimed at older children and was removed this week.

The new installation will be an enclosed area with soft pylons based on sea creatures that toddlers can climb. The grant will also expand the educational program for preschoolers.

PNC Foundation gets its principal funding from PNC Financial Services Group, which is based in Pittsburgh. The holding company has about $375 billion in assets and retail branches in 19 states, including 10 in South Carolina.

PNC Bank's local offices are in downtown Charleston and Mount Pleasant. The foundation reported grants of $72 million last year.

"The PNC Foundation supports a variety of nonprofit organizations with a special emphasis on those that work to achieve sustainability and touch a diverse population, in particular, those that support early childhood education and/or economic development," according to the foundation's web page.

Reach Dave Munday at 843-937-5553.