January 17, 2008 - Salt Lake City - Toyota today announced that three Salt Lake City elementary schools will be among the newest sites for its successful Toyota Family Literacy Program (TFLP). TFLP - the first nationwide program of its kind to focus on the needs of Hispanic and other immigrant families - is coordinated by the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL), the country's leading advocate for family literacy.
Toyota has contributed $600,000 to fund the program at Monroe Elementary, James E. Moss Elementary and Woodrow Wilson Elementary. All three schools are located in the Granite School District and average between 33 percent and 46 percent Hispanic enrollment.
TFLP - which got its start in 2003 and is now functioning in 20 cities across the U.S. - aims to increase basic language and literacy skills among Hispanic and other immigrant families and provide parents with the skills they need to help their children succeed in school. The program specifically serves children in kindergarten to third grade and their parents. TFLP is unique in that it incorporates NCFL's multicultural family literacy model, which combines key components including: ESL courses, children's education, parenting education, Parent and Child Together (PACT) activities, and computer-literacy instruction. Toyota has donated over $29 million to the program since its inception.
In addition to launching the program at these three schools, the funding will allow NCFL to provide comprehensive support for training, educational materials and assistance at each site. Granite School District is working hand-in-hand with NCFL to implement the family literacy program.
Besides Salt Lake City, four other cities are part of the latest expansion of the Toyota Family Literacy Program: Burien/Seattle, Wash.; Oakland, Calif.; Mesa, Ariz.; and Miami, Fla. A total of 230 school districts submitted applications for the five spots, all vying for part of the overall $3 million grant from Toyota.
"Family Literacy is of the utmost importance. We are honored and excited at the opportunity to work with Toyota and NCFL to this end," said Dr. Martin Bates, assistant superintendent, Granite School District. "We are extremely grateful for the research and other resources they have made available to us."
Results from the TFLP programs already implemented include:
• Significant literacy gains by adults, the majority of which improved their literacy scores by one or more levels
• Ratings for children in the program that exceeded peers in areas including academic performance, motivation to learn, attendance, classroom behavior, involvement in classroom activities, and other areas
• 92% of parents stating they're better able to help their child with homework
• 91% of parents stating their child's grades have improved
• Waiting lists at the majority of program sites due to high demand
"By partnering with Toyota, NCFL has nurtured a proven formula of research and delivery of family literacy services that not only works for the participants, but for the betterment of the communities," said Sharon Darling, president and founder of NCFL. "And, we're proud to say, our path to success here in Salt Lake City has been set by the impressive gains made by thousands of TFLP participants in family literacy programs throughout the nation."
"We're excited to begin the next chapter of the Toyota Family Literacy Program in Salt Lake City," said Patricia Pineda, group vice president, legal, philanthropy and administration at Toyota Motor North America, Inc. "Through the dedication of NCFL, we have seen first-hand how the program has helped improve the literacy skills for thousands of children and their parents across the country. We look forward to many more success stories in Salt Lake City."
The National Center for Family Literacy was established by Sharon Darling in 1989 with a grant from the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust. For the past 18 years, NCFL has pioneered educational initiatives that open pathways to continuous life improvement for the nation's most at-risk children and families. The organization has supported more than 150,000 teachers and thousands of volunteers, leading to positive gains for more than 1 million families. To learn more, call 1-877-FAMLIT-1 or visit www.famlit.org.
Since 1991, Toyota and NCFL have forged successful programs to promote family literacy in the United States. Toyota has contributed $29 million to help NCFL establish family literacy model programs throughout the country. (The automaker has pledged an additional $6 million to expand the Toyota Family Literacy Program to 10 new cities by 2010, making the total investment $35 million). Today, the Toyota/NCFL partnership accounts for nearly 226 family literacy sites in 43 cities and 27 states. As part of this partnership, the Toyota Family Literacy Teacher of the Year award has been presented annually since 1997 and recognizes individual teachers' contributions to improving literacy among youth and adults. Additional information on Toyota's commitment to improving education nationwide is available at www.toyota.com/about/our_commitment/philanthropy/education.
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