NCFL receives $1 million from Toyota to initiate Washington, DC, Alabama family literacy programming

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.