During last week's Families Learning Conference, Toyota and the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) recognized and celebrated the 2017 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year, Mary Andrews of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. [caption id="attachment_10485" align="alignleft" width="300"] 2017 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year, Mary Andrews, with Earvin "Magic" Johnson, SodexoMAGIC, and Mike Goss, Toyota Social Innovation[/caption] “We’re proud to recognize Mary Andrews as Toyota Family Teacher of the Year for the dedication to countless children and families through her unique literacy programs,” said Mike Goss, general manager, Toyota Social Innovation. Andrews’ Family Reading Partners and READ2ME programs are designed to model and encourage reading together as a family. Facilitators teach parents how to interact with their children to promote kindergarten readiness and reinforce that parents are their child’s first and most important teacher. “Mary’s work with Chapel Hill and Carrboro families makes a visible impact on our school system and our community,” said Superintendent Pam Baldwin, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS). “We are grateful for her continued work to support families in our district. She is building a legacy of family literacy that is contagious and inspiring.” Andrews’ literacy programs began on a small scale during her teaching career and were later adopted district-wide. Once retired, she expanded programming to reach more low-income community members with young children, including teenage parents; recovering mothers; refugee families; parents of newborns; and families participating in Early Head Start and Family Success Alliance. The Toyota Family Teacher of the Year award, a national honor now in its 21st year, recognizes families play a crucial role in the success of children and salutes educators who are exceptional at using intergenerational approaches to engage students and their families in education. Andrews and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation received a $20,000 check to further Family Reading Partners program outreach. [caption id="attachment_10486" align="alignleft" width="300"] 2017 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year runner-up, Fernando Gonzalez[/caption] During the Families Learning Conference, Toyota and NCFL also recognized Fernando Gonzalez of Tucson, Arizona, as the 2017 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year runner-up. For Fernando Gonzalez it’s all about empowering parents to be engaged in their children’s education. He works with Make Way for Books in Southern Arizona reaching parents in rural and urban areas to build on families’ strengths and increase kindergarten-readiness among low-income students. As runner-up, Gonzalez and Make Way for Books received a $5,000 grant to expand their family literacy outreach efforts. Gonzalez and Make Way for Books meet parents where they are—in apartment and mobile home communities; social service agencies; elementary schools; and neighborhood centers. A strengths-based, two-generation approach is used during a seven-week series to teach parents how talking, singing, reading, and playing with their children will prepare them for a life of learning. “Parents develop confidence as their children’s first teachers. They learn to advocate for their children’s education and become positive agents of change for themselves and their children,” Gonzalez said. “This award and grant means we’ll impact even more families and empower them with the skills and confidence to build a brighter future for their children.”
Do you know an educator making great strides to improve the lives of parents and children? Nominations for the 2018 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year will open in Spring 2018. Be among the first to receive the nomination link when you subscribe to NCFL's Family Learning Insider emails.
Toyota Family Learning Program
Toyota, one of the nation's most successful corporations, began a partnership with NCFL in 1991. In addition to a commitment of more than $50 million, Toyota has also contributed a wealth of in-kind support — including advertising, planning and management expertise — to form one of the most progressive corporate/nonprofit partnerships in the nation.
Three major programs have been developed through the Toyota partnership based on the family literacy model of parents and children learning together. These models have influenced federal and state legislation, leveraged local dollars to support family literacy and led to successful programs being replicated across the country.Read more about Toyota's commitment to communities
William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust
NCFL received its very first donation in 1989 from the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust to promote and implement family literacy programming, first in Kentucky and North Carolina and later nationwide. The Kenan Family Literacy Model in part laid the groundwork for 30 years of subsequent family literacy and family learning programming developed by NCFL.
Kenan has continued to support NCFL’s place-based family literacy programs since our inception. Most recently, they invested in the organization’s Innovation Fund, which will launch emerging ideas and programmatic evolutions in the multigenerational learning space.Learn more about the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust
Dollar General Literacy Foundation
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation began partnering with NCFL in 2006. A signature effort of this partnership is the National Literacy Directory, a resource that launched in 2010 and strives to reach the 35.7 million adults ages 18-64 who do not have a high school diploma by guiding them to better-paying, more stable jobs.
The National Literacy Directory contains over 10,000 educational agencies located across the United States and has a dedicated toll-free number to help support those wanting to pursue educational opportunities in their communities.
Dollar General also provides support for development of NCFL’s innovative family learning resources centered on financial literacy and Parent and Child Together (PACT) Time®.Learn more about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation
PNC Grow Up Great
PNC Grow Up Great believes deeply in the power of high-quality early childhood education and provides innovative opportunities that assist families, educators and community organizations to enhance children's learning and development.
PNC Grow Up Great has partnered with NCFL since 1994 to advance early literacy and learning resources for vulnerable families. Current efforts supported by PNC include a collaborative initiative in two at-risk Detroit communities that engages families to support vocabulary development for children under age 5.
NCFL's work is also featured on the PNC Grow Up Great Lesson Center website. The Lesson Center includes over 100 free, high-quality preschool lesson plans and research-based instructional techniques and strategies. All lesson plans contain Home/School Connections printouts, in English and Spanish, to help families extend and reinforce the learning at home.Learn more about PNC Grow Up Great
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
NCFL was named a recipient of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s "Voices for Economic Opportunity Grand Challenge," which seeks to elevate diverse voices in order to broaden the conversation about the issues inhibiting economic mobility and generate deeper awareness along with actionable understanding. NCFL will develop and launch a podcast series that will highlight the remarkable stories of low-income, diverse families across the U.S. who have improved their communities through Family Service Learning.Foundation Website
NCFL has partnered with the Goodling Institute for Research and Family Literacy at Penn State University since 2001, working collaboratively to further research, professional development, and policy efforts for family literacy and intergenerational learning.
The work of this partnership includes, but is not limited to, a strong research strand at NCFL's national annual convening, the Families Learning Summit; advocacy for family literacy and learning to further support for and inclusion of family-focused education in new and ongoing legislation; and dissemination of the latest research, resources, information, and professional development opportunities for literacy and learning practitioners and advocates, including the Certificate in Family Literacy provided by the Goodling Institute.Learn more about the Goodling Institute for Research and Family Literacy at Penn State University