Families & the Community

Toyota Supports Literacy Programs for Immigrants

By Mary Ann Zehr — January 24, 2011 1 min read
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For several years, immigrant and Hispanic families have been the focus for the Toyota Motor Corp.'s 20-year-old family literacy program managed by the National Center for Family Literacy. I wrote about one of the family-literacy programs underwritten by the carmaker in an article just published by Education Week.

I featured a literacy program located in a school in a low-income neighborhood in the nation’s capital that has primarily African-American students, and no Hispanic students at all.

But I want readers of this blog to know that the grants from the Toyota Family Literacy Program are mostly going to communities with Hispanic and immigrant families because that’s where the literacy center sees a lot of need these days. The grants could be an important resource for schools to provide English-as-a-second-language classes for parents.

Typically, Toyota provides a grant for $275,000 for three years for a community to set up three family-literacy programs. Toyota gives out more of the $275,000 for the first year of the grant period than the second or third years. The National Center for Family Literacy urges communities to find other sources of funding to sustain the programs after the Toyota money runs out, according to Sharon Darling, the founder and president of the Louisville, Ky.-based center. Some of those other sources in the past have included dollars authorized by the federal stimulus legislation, Head Start, the Workforce Investment Act, and from local and national foundations.

In the works at the national center are plans to create materials for parents with very low levels of literacy that explain the national common-core standards.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.