Initiative combines intergenerational learning with technology, volunteering, mentoring
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2014) — Families in five communities across the nation will participate in an innovative intergenerational learning program as a result of $875,000 in grants awarded by Toyota and the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL). Organizations in each of five cities received a three-year, $175,000 grant to launch a local Toyota Family Learning program in their community in the second year of the Toyota and NCFL model program.
Designed to expand on NCFL’s approach to engaging parents and children in learning together, Toyota Family Learning includes community service projects, digital learning and family-to-family mentoring. Independent evaluations showed last year’s participants improved literacy skills, while developing teamwork and leadership skills, self-confidence, and a sense of self-worth and pride.
“Following year one, we are finding that participating families are interacting more often with their child’s school and using technology with their children for educational purposes,” said Emily Kirkpatrick, vice president of NCFL. “Fathers and siblings are more involved in family learning. We’re seeing gains in parents’ organizational and leadership skills and involvement in their community.”
Organizations receiving this year’s Toyota Family Learning grants are
- Beech Acres Parenting Center, Cincinnati
- Metropolitan State University, Denver
- Southwest Solutions, Detroit
- Milwaukee Environmental Sciences Charter School, Milwaukee
- San Mateo County Library, San Mateo, Calif.
Families across the country, often first-generation immigrants, are already benefiting from the first year of Toyota Family Learning. The total NCFL and Toyota grant amount now stands at $1.75 million for programs in 10 schools, libraries and community-based organizations across the country (see below for list of year one grantees).
“Toyota Family Learning helps bridge the gap between classroom and lifelong learning,” said Mike Goss, vice president of external affairs for Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America, Inc. “We build on the success of intergenerational literacy programs that enable parents and children to learn alongside each other, by taking that learning outside the classroom in ways that are engaging and relevant to real life situations.”
Families participating in Toyota Family Learning programs:
- Attend Parent Time and Parent and Child Together (PACT) Time. Participating parents engage in guided learning with a focus on leadership. During PACT Time, families learn together while engaging in activities including mentoring and service learning, using technology together, reading together, and taking family trips.
- Join in service learning activities. Reflecting Toyota Family Learning’s guiding philosophy, which is rooted in community, families participate in at least three service projects.
- Engage in family-to-family mentoring: Building community networks is integral to experiencing life success following graduation from the Toyota Family Learning program, and the mentoring element teaches families how to share information with each other in an effort to foster self-sufficiency.
The community grants are just one facet of Toyota Family Learning – a six-year, nationwide initiative that also offers an online learning community called Family Time Machine, which helps parents and kids make better use of every moment in the day, and engages families in mobile learning adventures. Toyota Family Learning resources and information are available at www.toyotafamilylearning.org.