This month the Toyota Family Learning (TFL) program celebrates the end of its third year. A graduation ceremony, which took place at Bronx Art Space on May 18th, honored the third cohort of participants to complete the program.
A collaboration between National Center for Families Learning and Toyota, the model is simple: inter-generational literacy building through everyday activities. The families served, primarily low-income immigrants whose first language isn’t English, gained language and literacy skills through a series of fun, innovative activities that also help them learn to navigate their new home.
Graduation ceremonies can be bittersweet, marking an end of a period in time and farewells. In this case, however, upon receiving certificates of completion and gifts, families also received a piece of great news:
National Center for Families Learning just announced that they will be continuing funding for an additional three years in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. East Side House is one of five non-profits nationwide who will be receiving the new contract.
The popularity and impact of the program can’t be understated, as parents referred family and friends during its inception stage. In one instance, a participant enthusiastically recruited her cousin into the program, who had just arrived in the country from Honduras. The two young ladies motivated both each other and young parents in the neighborhood who were looking for a way to become active in their communities and to offer their children the bets educational opportunities possible. Stories like this one are common when speaking of NCFL.
The program’s renewal is the silver lining for families and their children in a school district that ranks lowest in the city in third grade reading scores. The program will be meshed with ESH’s Headstart program, offering pre-K aged children a pathway to educational readiness and literacy before they enter public school.
See the full photo gallery here.