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Mar 15, 2019 |

The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) has received a $1 million donation from the Toyota Motor Corporation to help break the generational cycle of poverty through family literacy in Washington, DC and northern Alabama. The donation marks $50 million contributed by Toyota to NCFL over a remarkable 28-year partnership between the two organizations, and comes as NCFL celebrates its 30th anniversary.

A total of 420 Toyota Family Learning Centers have impacted more than four million parents and children across the U.S. throughout the nearly three decades of involvement. The programs implemented have led to proven and life-changing results.

Established in 1991, Toyota Families for Learning has served families with preschool children in 20 states, with participating families reporting an 80 percent increase in reading books. Toyota Families in Schools was initiated eight years later, providing academic and home-life support for parents and at-risk students in 45 elementary schools in 15 cities, with 94 percent of participating parents reporting that they are more involved in their children’s education as a result of the program.

Toyota VP Scott Vazin applauds NCFL

The Toyota Family Literacy Program, which was established in 2003, provides culturally-relevant, two-generation programming for Hispanic-Latino and other immigrant families in 30 sites across the country. Ninety-two percent of participating parents are better able to help their children with homework, and 91 percent of parents report that their children’s grades have improved.

Finally, Toyota Family Learning, a tech-driven, service learning model established in 2013, serves families in 30 schools, libraries, and community-based organizations across 16 communities. Seventy-nine percent of participating parents have improved their English skills, with 40 percent attaining a better or higher-paying job.

“Education is key to a successful career,” said Toyota Motor North America CEO Jim Lentz. “I have seen the impact of NCFL’s two-generation literacy model, where children and their parents inspire each other to learn, and we’re proud to help further the great work of this organization.”

Sharon Darling visits with guests at the reception

“What a great way for our 30th anniversary to be celebrated,” said NCFL President and Founder Sharon Darling. “Toyota’s support is much more than just writing a check. They have been hands-on with our family literacy programs since day one. And for a company to be engaged with a non-profit for nearly three decades says everything about Toyota’s determination to make a difference.”

NCFL accepted the donation this week at a reception held in the U.S Capitol building. In the days to come, NCFL will coordinate the Washington, DC and northern Alabama family literacy programs, partnering with local organizations.

It is estimated that leveraging initial Toyota/NCFL grants has resulted in $400 million invested into family literacy programming across the country over the past 30 years.


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NCFL Partners

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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

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®.

Go to Dollar General Literacy Foundation's website

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.

PNC Grow Up Great

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

NCFL has partnered with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation since January 2016. The Foundation is currently supporting a dynamic two-generation family engagement initiative that expands NCFL's Family Learning model into select Head Start programs nationwide. NCFL's model presents an innovative way to support Head Start programs in meeting outcomes aligned with the Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework.

Visit the Foundation website

Better World Books

Better World Books selected NCFL as its domestic literacy partner in 2005 and has raised more than $1 million to support NCFL’s work and donated more than $15 million to support literacy and education efforts worldwide. Better World Books is a triple-bottom-line online bookstore, working equally for people, planet and profit. Each book purchased powers literacy across the world.

Better World Books’ support of NCFL has provided books and workshops to families after Hurricane Katrina, donated large book donations to literacy programs and families nationwide and fueled innovative family literacy and learning programs and resources in libraries, schools and community-based organizations. In addition to their work for literacy and education, Better World Books diverts books from landfills and offers carbon-balanced shipping.

Better World Books

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

In 2013, NCFL began a partnership with the Gates Foundation to ensure that our network of students, teachers, and families thrive among recent shifts in standards-based education. NCFL will leverage the unique strengths of our award-winning Wonderopolis® platform to build upon the growing teacher network that uses the resource for core daily instruction and as a basis for professional growth.

Foundation Website

Goodling Institute

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.

Goodling Institute for Research and Family Literacy at Penn State University