CALLOWAY COUNTY, Ky. (6/17/13) – East Calloway Elementary in Murray will receive continued funding from Toyota’s manufacturing operations in Kentucky to operate the Toyota Bornlearning® Academy launched in 2012. East Calloway is one of 21 schools – 12 of which are new this year – receiving funding for these early childhood education programs in the state. Toyota announced the new school locations, as well as continued funding for Academies launched in 2012, as part of a commitment to doubling its $1 million investment in early childhood education in the Commonwealth.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK) and Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America (TEMA) are providing funding to United Way of Kentucky to expand the Toyota Bornlearning® Academies. Through 2016, Toyota Bornlearning® Academies will be established at 62 schools. The academies teach parents and caregivers of children from prenatal to five years old how to turn everyday moments into learning opportunities.
Toyota will provide funding to continue the program at both sets of schools annually. The academies are open to anyone in each community, not just those with children enrolled at the schools. The 12 new elementary schools receiving funding this year are:
Name of School/City/County
Lacy Elementary School/Hopkinsville/Christian
Foust Elementary School/Owensboro/Daviess
Clark County Preschool/Winchester/Clark
Paris Elementary School/Paris/Bourbon
Garth Elementary School/Georgetown/Scott
Wingo Elementary School/Wingo/Graves
South Heights Elementary School/Henderson/Henderson
J.A. Caywood Elementary School/Edgewood/Kenton
Campbell Elementary School/Raceland/Greenup
Murray Elementary School/Murray/Calloway
Highland Elementary School/Waynesburg/Lincoln
Trigg County Primary School/Cadiz/Trigg
According to the Kentucky Board of Education, only one in four Kentucky children is prepared for kindergarten. “As a community, we must join together to turn around these statistics and the Toyota Bornlearning® Academies help do just that,” said Mike Price, vice president of administration, TMMK. “Toyota is committed to education and we are proud to bring this innovative program to even more young children and families across the state.”
The Bornlearning® Academy is an innovative approach to early childhood development and parent engagement. The Academy utilizes Bornlearning materials created by United Way Worldwide and a workshop model developed by Tim Hanner, retired school superintendent, United Way of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky University. The partnership grew to include the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence and United Way of Kentucky.
The Toyota Bornlearning® Academies serve as a fun and innovative community resource for parents and teachers to collaborate in early childhood development and explore ways children can learn through everyday interaction. Monthly school-based workshops will provide parents with tools to help their children succeed in kindergarten and beyond.
Connecting children to formative experiences in their early years is vital to future success. Children who are not prepared for kindergarten start out at a disadvantage and, without intervention, may continue to lag behind. According to a 2011 study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, students who do not read proficiently by third grade are four times less likely to graduate high school than those who read at a proficient level.
“We must recommit as a community to our youngest citizens,” said Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear. “By improving early education opportunities now, we can help ensure the future success of our students in the classroom and beyond, as they enter college and prepare for the work force.”
The Toyota Bornlearning® Academies dovetail with Gov. Beshear’s emphasis on early childhood education. In 2011, he 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.
Doug Eberhart, president of United Way of Kentucky, said Toyota’s commitment to creating 62 academies in Kentucky is an important step in raising the state’s overall educational attainment.
“By ensuring that young learners get an early start to their education, we are focusing on quality education that will prepare them for success in life,” said Doug Eberhart, president of United Way of Kentucky. “We are grateful for Toyota’s investment in, and long-term commitment to, education in Kentucky.”
Leea Martin Slinker of Hiseville, mother of two sons under age five, attended Hiseville Elementary’s Barren academy last year. “For me, this program has been about creating teaching moments in daily life. It’s understanding opportunities with what a kid is already doing, like talking about patterns by having my daughter choose striped pants or polka-dot pants,” Slinker said. “It’s creating moments out of what’s already there. You don’t have to buy anything, you don’t have to stop and think about it, but it’s about not letting these opportunities pass you by.”
Toyota employs about 6,600 team members at its Georgetown manufacturing plant; another 1,800 work at its North American manufacturing headquarters operation in Erlanger.
Information provided by McKenzi Loid
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