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Dec 2, 2021 |

Longtime partners NCFL and Toyota are spotlighting the importance of literacy by distributing more than 85,000 books to 2,000 families nationwide. The effort ties into Toyota’s holiday ad “Bookstore,” which shares the heartwarming story of a young girl who gets inspired to collect gently used books from her community to restock her favorite local bookstore after it’s devastated by a fire. Watch the ad by clicking here.

Each family will receive a weekly bundle of books to create a home library that supports reading as an activity that family members can carry out with each other. The books are intended for emerging readers and their parenting adults to support the literacy skills needed to succeed in school while increasing the number of books in the home.

“Research shows that children whose families have access to books and incorporate a daily habit of reading are primed for literacy proficiency and lifelong learning,” said Mike Goss, general manager, Toyota Social Innovation and president of the Toyota USA Foundation. “Together with NCFL, this holiday season, we will be able to get more books into the hands of families who may not have easy access to reading materials.

All books distributed through this holiday campaign are culturally responsive to the diverse communities across the country. Families also will have access to a digital library of books that provide narration in over 50 languages.

NCFL’s President, Dr. Felicia C. Smith, emphasized the importance of providing culturally relevant, meaningful, and quality texts to families. She said, “As NCFL partners with communities nationwide to extend learning beyond school walls and with families, we need rich literacy resources that keep students and their parenting adults engaged. Families are more likely to cultivate a daily habit of reading when they can connect with and relate to literacy content.”

The holiday campaign and book donations were highlighted last night during NBC’s annual tree lighting special, “Christmas in Rockefeller Center.” The 2021 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year, Manoucheka Dolcine from Broward County, Florida, and her family appeared live at the event. The Toyota Family Teacher of the Year is an annual partnership event between Toyota and NCFL where an educator is awarded $20,000 in recognition of innovative instruction efforts that engage multiple generations of family members in the education process.

Let’s make December magical by building family home libraries! Help NCFL support more families by donating this season. #ToyotaGiving #BooksBringUsTogether


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NCFL Partners

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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, it has invested in our organization’s Sharon Darling 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 guide potential students and volunteers to literacy services, community education programs, and testing centers in their communities.

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, most recently in Louisville, Kentucky, to support Say & Play with Words, our pre-Kindergarten vocabulary-building initiative.

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

U.S. Department of Education

Initiated through the U.S. Department of Education in 2018, the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFEC) program provides 12 grantees and 13 states with five-year, $5 million grants to promote and implement systemic evidenced-based family engagement strategies. NCFL was selected to lead SFECs in two states, Arizona and Nebraska, and is a primary partner for two other SFECs in Kentucky and Maryland/Pennsylvania. 

The SFECs work to support family engagement through state- and local-level agencies while providing both professional development to school districts and direct services to families related to children’s academic outcomes and overall well-being.

Learn more about the U.S. Department of Education

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