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Mar 15, 2019 |
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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, 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