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Grayson County Superintendent Barry Anderson and Principal Gwen Lucas helped accept a check from the Toyota Co. on behalf of H.W. Wilkey in November 2012 for the first year of the Toyota Bornlearning Grant.
Posted: Monday, 17 June 2013 9:40AM

H.W. Wilkey Elementary bornlearning® Academy gets year two funding from Toyota

Toyota doubling commitment to $1 million for bornlearning® Academies in Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. – (June 17, 2013) – H.W. Wilkey Elementary in Leitchfield will receive continued funding from Toyota’s manufacturing operations in Kentucky to operate the Toyota bornlearning® Academy launched in 2012.  H.W. Wilkey 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

In addition to H.W. Wilkey Elementary, programs launched at other schools in 2012 will continue at Hiseville Elementary in Glasgow; Crabbe Elementary in Ashland; May Valley Elementary in Prestonsburg; Grandview Elementary in Bellevue; East Calloway in Murray; Berea Elementary in Berea; Farley Elementary in Paducah and Boston School in Boston.

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.

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.

About Toyota
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.

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