Toyota Family Learning to enhance Broward County Public Schools’ family literacy programs

Toyota Family Learning is headed to the Sunshine State. The three-year, $175,000 Toyota-funded and NCFL-led grant has been awarded to Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

BrowardCo_214x160Broward 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.

Nearly 100 parents and children are enrolled in Toyota Family Learning at three BCPS sites.

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.

TFL“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.”

The program empowers parents and caregivers, as well as their children, to become engaged in their schools and communities through Family Service Learning, Parent and Child Together (PACT) Time® and family-to-family mentoring.

“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.

“When parents are engaged in their children’s learning, our students, schools, District and communities all benefit,” said Superintendent Robert W. Runcie. “Through Toyota Family Learning, we are expanding our district’s high-quality family literacy programs with new educational experiences that extend beyond traditional classroom walls.”

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) System is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS serves over 265,000 students from 208 countries who speak 181 different languages.