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    Houston Public Library is Selected as First-Ever Toyota Family Learning Grant Winner From Vast Pool of Competitors
    Alex Wang

    Houston Public Library is Selected as First-Ever Toyota Family Learning Grant Winner From Vast Pool of Competitors
    HPL is One of Five Winners to Kick Off Innovative New Learning Program Aimed at Benefitting Underserved Families

    Today, Houston Public Library (HPL) announces it has been selected as one of five winners of the Toyota Family Learning grant, designed to fund new family learning programs as more and more national attention is being put on the crucial role a family plays in a child¡¯s learning process.

    In a highly competitive selection process, with more than 1,000 organizations applying for a grant, the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) and Toyota selected HPL to receive the first-ever Toyota Family Learning grant and become the flagship family learning project of its kind in the community.

    HPL will receive a $175,000 funding grant and a wide range of NCFL resources, including training, communication guidance and program materials to further family learning efforts among vulnerable families. NCFL and HPL will work closely together, supporting the local community and working toward their shared goal of creating a strong family unit.

    ¡°The Houston Public Library is proud and honored to be selected as the very first public library to receive the Toyota Family Learning grant,¡± said Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, HPL director. ¡°Through this amazing opportunity to partner with Toyota and NCFL we are able to further our commitment and enhance our programs and services to help families in our community build on their strengths and achieve their learning goals. The leverage provided through the strategic partnership between HPL and these outstanding partners coupled with the hard work and dedication of families makes us all win.¡±

    Along with Houston, the four additional grant winners come from Providence, RI; Bronx, NY; Lincoln, NE; and San Pedro, CA. And while each community has specific plans to use the funds in a way that is unique to their location, they all align with the Toyota Family Learning initiative¡¯s larger mission of bringing families into the learning process for increased educational gains.

    A total of 15 grants, open to schools, libraries and community-based organizations that provide services to families, will be awarded over the course of the six-year Toyota Family Learning initiative. Submissions are evaluated on a number of factors, including strength of existing services, commitment from community partners, and strength and innovation of proposal.

    The community grants focus on family mentor and service learning programs and are just one facet of Toyota Family Learning ¨C a new, nationwide initiative that also offers mobile learning adventures for families and a host of online resources.

    Toyota Family Learning is the most recent initiative to come from a more than 20-year partnership between NCFL and Toyota. Over the years, the two have joined forces to provide intergenerational solutions to educational challenges and respond to societal changes and opportunities while engaging families online, offline, and on the go.

    While experts and policy makers realize that learning is not only for textbooks and schools, educators continue to seek support to make this a reality and confess it¡¯s still a challenge to bring parents into their child¡¯s learning process. That¡¯s why the vision for Toyota Family Learning goes beyond a specific program and seeks to reverse this trend by creating a modern-day movement for families learning together.

    About the National Center for Families Learning
    The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping adults and children learn together. NCFL creates and deploys innovative programs and strategies that support learning, literacy and family engagement in education. From the classroom to the community to the digital frontier, NCFL collaborates with educators, advocates and policy-makers to help families construct hotspots for learning wherever they go. For more information on NCFL¡¯s 24-year track record, visit www.familieslearning.org.

    About Toyota
    Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. There are more than 1,500 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in the United States, which sold more than 2 million vehicles in 2012. Toyota directly employs over 31,000 in the United States and its investment here is currently valued at more than $19.5 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. Toyota's annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods and services from U.S. suppliers totals over $27.5 billion.

    Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. To date, Toyota has contributed $700 million to nonprofits in the United States.

    Luisa Montes
    SHIFT Communications for NCFL
    (415) 591-8464

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