NATIONAL CENTER FOR FAMILY LITERACY SELECTS FORT LAUDERDALE AS NEW TOYOTA FAMILIES FOR LEARNING SITE
NATIONAL CENTER FOR FAMILY LITERACY SELECTS FORT LAUDERDALE AS NEW
TOYOTA FAMILIES FOR LEARNING SITE
/ADVANCE/ LOUISVILLE, Ky., May 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) is announcing that five cities have been chosen to become new sites for the Toyota Families for Learning Program as a result of an additional $1.6 million grant from the Toyota Motor Corporation. The selected cities are Dallas; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; New Orleans; St. Louis; and Seattle. In a period of two months, NCFL responded to over 360 requests for the grant from cities representing 46 states before selecting 10 finalists on April 13. Each finalist was visited by NCFL staff before the selections were made.
In Broward County, Florida, the program will be established at three Family Resource Centers. One of the three sites, Charles Drew Family Resource Center, has already been serving 3- and 4-year old preschool students and their families during this past year. Two additional sites will open this fall. Partners in the program include Broward County Public Schools, Health and Rehabilitation Services, the Urban League of Broward County, Broward County Housing Authority, Broward County Library System, and the Children's Services Board. "This is an obvious sign of exemplary cooperation between the school system and the private sector. Most importantly, it demonstrates that excellence can be achieved by adult and child development programs working together to promote literacy," said Betty Castor, Florida's Commissioner of Education.
The model used in the Toyota Families for Learning Program was originated in Kentucky as the PACE Program and nationally replicated as the Kenan Trust Family Literacy Model with grants from the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust. The Toyota Families for Learning Program is designed to break the intergeneration cycle of undereducation by creating a learning environment where parents attend school along with their children (ages 3 and 4). Parents can work towards a high school equivalency diploma (GED) and their literacy and job readiness skills while their children go to preschool under the same roof. Parents are provided skills and motivation to not only succeed in life but also gain the knowledge needed to assume the role of being their child's first teacher.
Criteria used to select the grant awards include the level of need (percentage of children living in poverty, percentage of adults without literacy skills, inadequacy of existing services), a plan for coordination and collaboration with related programs, the documented commitment of the key officials in government and education, and the geographic location.
The grant provides $225,000 to each city over a three-year period. Each city will provide additional local funding to operate a minimum of three programs over the three-year period and will provide a plan for funding the programs on a continuing basis.
Representatives of the five new recipients as well as representatives from the original five cities selected in 1991 will participate in an orientation and development workshop conducted by NCFL in Louisville on May 27-29. Representatives from the new sites will have the opportunity to meet and talk with representatives from the existing sites. The original sites include Atlanta; Pittsburgh; Richmond, Va.; Rochester, N.Y.; and Tucson, Ariz.
To date, Toyota's contribution towards the establishment and development of the Toyota Families for Learning Program totals $3.6 million. Each city offers a unique approach to collaboration which reflects the resources and mission of the sponsoring agency.
The Toyota Families for Learning Program is targeted to assist families most in need. Alarming research figures show that children of low income parents who have dropped out of school are six times more likely than average to drop out themselves. The preschool children served by the program are those most likely to be of great risk of failure when they enter school. In the current Toyota Families for Learning Programs 93 percent of the children entering the program scored in the bottom quarter of children in the nation. Only 1 percent of these young children scored average or above. "As a result of the Toyota Families for Learning Program it is expected that 90 percent of those children will go on to succeed rather than fail in school," said Sharon Darling, president of NCFL. Kunio Shimazu, president of Toyota Motor Corporate Services of North America said, "Like the many education programs Toyota supports, such as the TAPESTRY science program, minority scholarships, and public television children's programming, Toyota Families for Learning gives people the chance to be the best they can be."
/CONTACT: Watson Courtenay of the National Center for Family Literacy, 502-584-1133/ CO: National Center for Family Literacy ST: Kentucky, Florida IN: SU:
AW-JB -- FL010 -- 4396 05/27/92 16:14 EDT