Toyota Expands National Family Learning Program to BCPS
SUNRISE, Fl – The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL), in partnership with Toyota and Broward County Public Schools (BCPS), today unveiled a unique family learning program. This innovative, two-generation model called Toyota Family Learning is a solution to the educational challenges facing low-income and diverse families. BCPS received a three-year, $175,000 grant from Toyota and NCFL to launch the program.
Nearly 100 parents and children are enrolled in Toyota Family Learning at three BCPS sites. The program empowers parents and caregivers, as well as their children, to become engaged in their schools and communities. It also leverages technology as parents and children learn together and serve their communities through NCFL’s Family Service Learning approach, Parent and Child Together (PACT) Time® and family-to-family mentoring. The Toyota Family Learning initiative expands and supports the existing BCPS family literacy programs.
For Fernando Rapa and his wife Maria Palomera, Toyota Family Learning represents an opportunity to help ensure a successful future for their four-year-old daughter. After moving from Venezuela last fall, Palomera and daughter, Maya, are both attending school and learning English at the Village Multipurpose Center.
“We joined because we want to learn with our daughter in a fun and engaging way,” said Palomera. “We want her to do well in school when she begins kindergarten; to be motivated and excited about learning. We are proud of the values we’re instilling in Maya, and believe this program is building a foundation that will help her succeed.”
Broward County is the 14th community to become part of Toyota Family Learning. One other organization will be unveiled this year. In total, Toyota has committed $10 million over a six-year period for this national education initiative.
“Toyota Family Learning has allowed us to grow and enrich our current Family Literacy program for our parents and students,” said Carletha Shaw, principal, Community School South. “The parents are being given the tools necessary to participate as full partners in their children's education, get better jobs and be more engaged in their own neighborhoods.”
Parents and their children spend more than four hours a week learning together in this free program. In addition to gaining skills to help their children succeed in and outside the classroom, parents also build important technology, language literacy and job skills.
Research shows that strong family support helps children succeed in school.
“Toyota Family Learning bridges the gap between classroom and lifelong learning,” said Sharon Darling, president and founder, NCFL. “The impact on these families and the community will be seen and felt for decades.”
This year, NCFL and Toyota celebrate 25 years of partnership. Since 1991, more than 1.1 million families across the country have been impacted by programs developed by NCFL – a pioneer in the concept of families learning and serving together to raise literacy levels and improve communities. NCFL-Toyota site-based programs have been brought to life in nearly 60 cities across the U.S.
“Toyota is proud to partner with NCFL to elevate parents and children through education and technology training,” said Luis Rosero, director of Toyota’s Hispanic Business Strategy Group. “The families are able to make a difference in their own lives, as well as the community.”