A Great Read: Toyota Teacher of Year Volunteers Countless Hours with Vulnerable Families Through Unique Literacy Programs

$25,000 in grants awarded to expand family literacy programming in North Carolina, Arizona.

Mary Andrews isn't sitting still in retirement. On the contrary, she's building on her 40-year teaching career by expanding family literacy programs throughout the Chapel Hill, North Carolina, community to serve more vulnerable parents and children. Today, Toyota and the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) surprised Andrews during a reading event with local families with the news that she is the 2017 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year.


Andrews and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation also received a $20,000 check to further Family Reading Partners (FRP) program outreach.

In addition, Fernando Gonzalez of Tucson, Arizona, was named Toyota Family Teacher of the Year runner-up for his leadership and efforts in family literacy. Gonzalez and his organization, Make Way for Books, received a $5,000 grant to continue Fernandez's work engaging families through seven-week programs that meet families where they are — in apartment and mobile home communities, social service agencies, and neighborhood centers.

"We're proud to recognize Mary Andrews as Toyota Family Teacher of the Year and Fernando Gonzalez as runner-up for their dedication to countless children and families through their family literacy programs," said Mike Goss, general manager, social innovation, Toyota Motor North America.

Mary Andrews

Goss added: "The work of Mary and Fernando will increase children's upward mobility and ability to break intergenerational cycles of poverty. This will pay dividends for these students, their families, their schools and their communities for generations to come."

The Toyota Family Teacher of the Year award, a national honor now in its 21st year, recognizes that families play a crucial role in the success of children and salutes educators who are exceptional at using intergenerational approaches to engage students and their families in education.

"Mary and Fernando's leadership and innovative strategies empower families to change the academic and life trajectories," said Dr. Joshua Cramer, vice president, NCFL. "Their work is in alignment with NCFL's mission to eradicate poverty through two-generation education solutions for families. We are proud to recognize Mary and Fernando for their hard work and commitment to families."

Andrews' FRP and READ2ME programs are designed to model and encourage reading together as a family. Facilitators teach parents how to interact with their children to promote kindergarten readiness and reinforce that parents are their child's first and most important teacher.

The program also works to address the 30-million word gap many low-income children face upon entering kindergarten.

Andrews' literacy programs began on a small scale during her teaching career and were later adopted district-wide. Once retired, she expanded programming to reach more low-income community members with young children, including teenage parents, recovering mothers, refugee families, parents of newborns, and Early Head Start participants.

Gonzalez works to empower parents to embrace their role as the first, best and most important teacher in their child's life, as well as to become advocates for their children's education.

Andrews and Gonzalez will be recognized for their accomplishments at the annual NCFL Families Learning Conference in Tucson on October 9. The conference convenes the nation's most progressive experts in education, policy, and family and parent engagement to discuss and share the latest information regarding multigenerational approaches to learning.

ABOUT NATIONAL CENTER FOR FAMILIES LEARNING

The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) is a national nonprofit organization working to eradicating poverty through education solutions for families. Partnering with educators, literacy advocates, and policymakers, NCFL develops and provides programming, professional development, and resources from the classroom to the community that empower and raise families to achieve their potential. For more information on NCFL visit familieslearning.org.ABOUT TOYOTA

Toyota (NYSE:TM), creator of the Prius hybrid and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota and Lexus brands. Over the past 60 years, we've built more than 30 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 44,000 people (more than 34,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold nearly 2.6 million cars and trucks (2.45 million in the U.S.) in 2016 – and about 85 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 15 years are still on the road today.

Toyota: Lexus Aces Premium Experiences at the 2018 U.S. Open Championship

Luxury automaker returns as official vehicle of the USGA for the 12th consecutive year.

Originally Published by Toyota North America.

Golf's most celebrated weekend is back, returning with official vehicle Lexus. The 118th U.S. Open Championship takes place June 14-17, 2018 at prestigious Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, New York, for the fifth time in its significant history.

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Toyota: Teens School Peers on Distracted Driving: There’s No 'Fine' Time to Text

Toyota TeenDrive365 Video Challenge selects winner from 1,300 submissions in nationwide PSA competition.

2018 TeenDrive365 Video Challenge Winners (left to right): High school seniors Kirklin "Mack" Hopkins and Kellen Stadler from Charlotte-Mecklenberg Schools in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Originally Published by Toyota Motor North America.

To educate their peers on the dangers of distracted driving, high school seniors Kirklin "Mack" Hopkins (17) and Kellen Stadler (18) of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in Charlotte, North Carolina, send a clear message: A single second can have life-long consequences. Their poignant video, titled "It's Not Fine," is the winner of the Toyota TeenDrive365 Video Challenge, a national driver safety public service announcement competition, using the tools of storytelling to get through to young drivers.

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Toyota: Building Skills for High-Demand Jobs

Twenty-five elementary, middle and high schools to implement innovative project-based STEM programs in San Antonio.

TOYOTA

Schools in the greater San Antonio area will soon have additional resources to help prepare youth for the jobs of tomorrow. Toyota USA Foundation, together with Project Lead The Way (PLTW), awarded $400,000 in grants to provide curriculum and teacher professional development focused on computer science, engineering, and biomedical science.

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Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Executives from Nielsen, New York Life, TIAA and Toyota Motor North America talk about communicating their commitment to D&I management and backing it up with actions that get results.

At the 2018 DiversityInc Top 50 event, more than 400 people were in attendance during the day to hear best practices on effectively managing diversity and inclusion.

Moderator: Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

Panelists:

  • Angela Talton, Chief Diversity Officer, Nielsen
  • Kathleen Navarro, VP & Chief Diversity Officer, New York Life
  • Steve Larson, Senior Director of Diversity & Inclusion, TIAA
  • Adrienne Trimble, General Manager, Diversity & Inclusion, Toyota Motor North America