EDGEWOOD, KENTUCKY, (August 28, 2013) — The expansion of an innovative early childhood learning program was celebrated today at J.A. Caywood Elementary School in Edgewood, with the help of four multi-year grants totaling $136,000 from Toyota’s manufacturing operations in Kentucky.
The Toyota bornlearning® Academies (www.uwky.org/bornlearning), in partnership with United Way of Kentucky and United Way of Greater Cincinnati – Northern Kentucky, take aim at the fact that three out of four Kentucky children are not prepared for kindergarten, according to the Kentucky Board of Education. Today, four new schools were awarded funding for Toyota bornlearning® Academies: J.A. Caywood Elementary in Edgewood, Silver Grove Elementary in Silver Grove, Lincoln Elementary in Dayton, and Glenn O. Swing Elementary in Covington. The new schools join veteran schools Collins Elementary in Florence, Grandview Elementary in Bellevue, Crossroads Elementary in Cold Spring, Williamstown Elementary in Williamstown, John G. Carlisle and Latonia elementary schools in Covington, Lindeman Elementary in Erlanger, and Beechgrove Elementary in Independence.
The 12 schools are part of 31 Toyota bornlearning® Academies statewide, part of a five year, $1 million investment by Toyota that aims to establish about 70 academies statewide through 2016. The academies, which are free to participants, teach parents and caregivers of children from prenatal to five years old how to turn everyday moments into learning opportunities.
“We are excited that Toyota and United Way are expanding this successful model across northern Kentucky, arming parents and caregivers with practical, hands-on strategies to help their children become better prepared for success in kindergarten and beyond,” said Dr. Randy Poe, Boone County Schools Superintendent and chair of Northern Kentucky Superintendents Association.
What is now known as the bornlearning® Academy was developed by Kenton County Schools, Northern Kentucky University and United Way of Greater Cincinnati Success by 6® to support kindergarten readiness. With initial support from Kenton County Schools, Northern Kentucky University, Citi and United Way of Greater Cincinnati Success by 6®, the first bornlearning Academy was implemented in 2010 at Beechgrove Elementary in Independence. The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood, Kentucky Family Resource and Youth Services Centers, United Way of Greater Cincinnati Success by 6® and United Way of Kentucky secured funding from Toyota to expand the academies throughout the state and, in fall of 2012, the first Toyota bornlearning® Academies launched at 10 schools with the intent of adding additional schools each year through 2016.
“United Way of Greater Cincinnati – Northern Kentucky has done a tremendous job implementing this program in the area and we are very proud to be able to make this available to even more parents and caregivers in this community,” said Doug Eberhart, United Way of Kentucky president. “Engaging children at an early age is key to preparing them for success in school and this program gives parents and caregivers tools to turn their everyday interactions into teachable moments.”
The academies consist of monthly school-based workshops and serve as a fun and innovative community resource that enables parents and teachers to collaborate in the early childhood development of future students. The workshops are free and include a meal, which participating families enjoy together.
“The future success of Kentucky depends on the investment we make in our children today, and we are proud to expand this program here in northern Kentucky as well as throughout the state,” said Helen Carroll, manager of community relations at Toyota. “Toyota recognizes the importance of kindergarten readiness to our future workforce and economic competitiveness.”
The bornlearning Academies® dovetail with Gov. Steve Beshear’s emphasis on early childhood education. In 2011, Gov. Beshear created the Governor’s Early Childhood Advisory Council to unite stakeholders behind common strategies, standards and goals for Kentucky’s early childhood system and to advocate for improved quality of early childhood services and improved school readiness.
The other Kentucky schools receiving funding this year are Garth Elementary in Georgetown, Lacy Elementary in Hopkinsville, Foust Elementary in Owensboro, Clark County Preschool in Winchester, Paris Elementary in Paris, Campbell Elementary in Raceland, Wingo Elementary in Wingo, South Heights Elementary in Henderson, Murray Elementary in Murray, Highland Elementary in Waynesburg, and Trigg County Primary School in Cadiz.
About Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc.
Toyota’s largest plant in North America, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK) started production in May 1988. The Georgetown, Ky. plant employs approximately 6,600 full time team members and represents a $6 billion investment. TMMK currently produces the Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid and Venza as well as four-cylinder and V-6 engines and other engine components. Annual capacity is 500,000 vehicles and 600,000 engines. Since 1987, TMMK has donated more than $44 million to non-profit organizations throughout Kentucky.
Toyota (NYSE:TM) established operations in North America in 1957. Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. supports 14 manufacturing plants. Toyota directly employs nearly 39,000 people in North America and its investment here is currently valued at more than $24.5 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. Toyota's annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods and services from North American suppliers totals nearly $30 billion. Toyota currently produces 12 vehicles in North America, including the Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, RAV4, Sienna, Sequoia, Tacoma, Tundra, Venza and the Lexus RX 350. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyota.com or www.toyotanewsroom.com.
About United Way of Kentucky
Since 1984, United Way of Kentucky has been serving local communities by assisting local United Ways in Kentucky to build healthier and more caring communities. It is currently supported by 22 local United Ways which help Kentuckians build stronger, healthier, and safer communities across 88 counties. United Way of Kentucky is a 501(c)(3) health and human service organization governed by a statewide volunteer board of directors.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc.