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Toyota Family Literacy Program Expands Nationally; $2.97M Grant Will Fund Expansion Into 5 Additional Cities, Serving More Immigrant Families


LOUISVILLE, Ky., June 15 -- The National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) announces the expansion of its groundbreaking Toyota Family Literacy Program. This expansion is made possible through the incredible generosity of Toyota Motor North America, a long-time partner of NCFL and supporter of family literacy.

Toyota Motor North America’s $2.97 million grant will fund the expansion of the successful Toyota Family Literacy Program into five new communities across the nation. The Toyota Family Literacy Program provides Hispanic and other immigrant families with quality family literacy programming, designed to increase basic language and literacy skills, as well as provide parents with the specific skills they need to help their children succeed. The program specifically serves children in kindergarten through third grade and their parents.

“Millions of families in the U.S. need literacy opportunities in order to progress and become active participants in their communities,” said Sharon Darling, NCFL’s president and founder. “Toyota’s support of this work will allow us to serve even more families. This new support is a tremendous example of Toyota’s commitment to community progress and educational achievement for adults and children.”

Communities across the nation are eligible to apply for the opportunity to develop the program in three elementary school sites per community. Through a competitive application process, five cities will be selected to receive grant funding, training and technical assistance, materials and many other forms of support from NCFL.

“Education has always been a top priority for Toyota, and NCFL has continued to prove that their family approach to learning works,” said Hideaki “Harry” Otaka, president and CEO of Toyota Motor North America. “Our partnership with NCFL has been a winning formula for families, schools and communities, which is why we’re pleased to play a small role in helping them expand the Toyota Family Literacy Program.”

The first five communities that were selected for the Toyota Family Literacy Program initiated their programs in Fall 2003. Already, the families served by the program are achieving impressive results:

-- Demand for the program has produced waiting lists at the majority of program sites;

-- By the end of the first program year, 70 percent of participating families held a library card;

-- Adults made significant literacy gains, moving their literacy scores up one or more levels;

-- Children in the program were rated higher than their peers in overall academic performance, motivation to learn, attendance, classroom behavior, involvement in classroom activities, and other areas.

Since 1989, NCFL has developed family literacy services designed to meet the nation’s most pressing needs. Model programs developed and now implemented throughout the country assist families in acquiring educational skills while transitioning into work, and involve disadvantaged parents in the critical role of working with their elementary and preschool children. This pioneering work has been acknowledged by the federal government, many national figures, policy makers, and philanthropists across the nation.

Working together since 1991, Toyota and NCFL have developed and supported more than 181 programs in 28 cities through grants and support exceeding $21 million. The programs continue serving families on an annual basis, long after initial funding has ended, due to program achievements and the success of families. This partnership has served tens of thousands of families, helping them progress from undereducation and poverty to academic success and self-sufficiency. The outcomes of the partnership have influenced educational policy, program design, and the delivery of services for parents and children with the least proficient literacy skills throughout the nation.


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