NCFL, Toyota Expand Family Learning Program to Five New Communities; Intergenerational Learning Combines with Technology, Volunteering and Family-to-family Mentoring

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Toyota and the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) are expanding the innovative intergenerational Toyota Family Learning program to five new cities nationwide. $875,000 in grants is being awarded to organizations in Cincinnati, Detriot, Milwaukee, Denver, and San Mateo, California.

Mateo Family

The Mateo family gathers with NCFL and program leaders at a graduation ceremony for the first class of Toyota Family Learning at the Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island in Providence.

“Following year one, we are finding that participating families are interacting more often with their child’s school and using technology with their children for educational purposes,” said Emily Kirkpatrick, vice president of NCFL.

http://toyotafamilylearning.org/ — Families in five communities across the nation will participate in an innovative intergenerational learning program as a result of $875,000 in grants awarded by Toyota and the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL). Organizations in each of five cities received a three-year, $175,000 grant to launch a local Toyota Family Learning program in their community in the second year of the Toyota and NCFL model program.

Designed to expand on NCFL’s approach to engaging parents and children in learning together, Toyota Family Learning includes community service projects, digital learning, and family-to-family mentoring. Independent evaluations showed last year’s participants improved literacy skills, while developing teamwork and leadership skills, self-confidence, and a sense of self-worth and pride.

“Following year one, we are finding that participating families are interacting more often with their child’s school and using technology with their children for educational purposes,” said Emily Kirkpatrick, vice president of NCFL. “Fathers and siblings are more involved in family learning. We’re seeing gains in parents’ organizational and leadership skills and involvement in their community.”

Organizations receiving this year’s Toyota Family Learning grants are

  •     Beech Acres Parenting Center, Cincinnati
  •     Metropolitan State University, Denver
  •     Southwest Solutions, Detroit
  •     Milwaukee Environmental Sciences Charter School, Milwaukee
  •     San Mateo County Library, San Mateo, Calif.

Families across the country, often first-generation immigrants, are already benefiting from the first year of Toyota Family Learning. Today’s announcement brings the total NCFL and Toyota grant amount to $1.75 million for programs in 10 schools, libraries and community-based organizations across the country (see below for list of year one grantees).

“Toyota Family Learning helps bridge the gap between classroom and lifelong learning,” said Mike Goss, vice president of external affairs for Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America, Inc. “We build on the success of intergenerational literacy programs that enable parents and children to learn alongside each other, by taking that learning outside the classroom in ways that are engaging and relevant to real life situations.”

Families participating in Toyota Family Learning programs:

  •     Attend Parent Time and Parent and Child Together (PACT) Time®: Participating parents engage in guided learning with a focus on leadership. During PACT Time, families learn together while engaging in activities including mentoring and service learning, using technology together, reading together, and taking family trips.
  •     Join in service learning activities: Reflecting Toyota Family Learning’s guiding philosophy, which is rooted in community, families participate in at least three service projects.
  •     Engage in family-to-family mentoring: Building community networks is integral to experiencing life success following graduation from the Toyota Family Learning program, and the mentoring element teaches families how to share information with each other in an effort to foster self-sufficiency.

The community grants are just one facet of Toyota Family Learning – a six-year, nationwide initiative that also offers an online learning community called Family Time Machine, which helps parents and kids make better use of every moment in the day, and engages families in mobile learning adventures. Toyota Family Learning resources and information are available at http://www.toyotafamilylearning.org.

About the National Center for Families Learning
The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping adults and children learn together. NCFL creates and deploys innovative programs and strategies that support learning, literacy, and family engagement in education. NCFL collaborates with educators, advocates, and policy-makers to help families construct hotspots for learning wherever they go. For more information on NCFL’s 25-year track record, visit http://www.familieslearning.org.

Toyota Family Learning is the most recent initiative made possible by the 24-year partnership between NCFL and Toyota. Together, NCFL and Toyota have helped more than one million families around the country make significant progress in school, in their homes and in their communities.

About Toyota
Toyota, the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through its Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, Toyota has built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where it operates 14 manufacturing plants and directly employs more than 40,000 people. The company’s 1,800 North American dealerships sold more than 2.5 million cars and trucks in 2013 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today. For more information about Toyota, visit http://www.toyotanewsroom.com.

Round One Toyota Family Learning Grant Recipients:
Dorcas International Institute, Providence, R.I.
East Side House Settlement, Bronx, N.Y.
Lincoln Public Schools, Lincoln, Neb.
Toberman Neighborhood Center, San Pedro, Calif.
Houston Public Library, Houston

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