The five winning grantee communities come from across the nation and represent just a few of the threads that weave together the fabric of this country and its diverse educational challenges.
The winners are:
- Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island ( Providence, RI): Dorcas International Institute empowers families, refugees and immigrants to become leaders in their community by teaching them to advocate for their own needs with the school and civic leaders.
- East Side House ( Bronx, NY): East Side House believes children succeed in school and reverse falling test scores—even in the poorest congressional district in the nation—when parents are able to successfully continue education in the home.
- Houston Public Library ( Houston, TX): Houston Public Library provides a learning lifeline and hub of resources for all family members, creating a strong family unit that can succeed at every level.
- Lincoln Public Schools ( Lincoln, NE): Lincoln Public Schools' programs aim to help parents more effectively share the literacy and learning experience with their kids to lead to improved performance in school.
- Toberman Neighborhood Center ( San Pedro, CA): Toberman empowers families of all backgrounds to be an influential part of their community, providing support in the face of poverty and violence.
In a highly competitive selection process, with more than 1,000 communities expressing interest, these winning communities were selected to receive the first-ever Toyota Family Learning grant and become the flagship family learning projects in their community. Each winner is awarded a three-year, $175,000 grant, in addition to a wide range of NCFL training and communication support, learning items and materials.
Toyota Family Teacher of the YearNow in its 17 th year, the popular Toyota award has evolved into the Toyota Family Teacher of the Year Award to emphasize the importance of a well-rounded education network and bring recognition to a teacher's school or program that exemplifies bringing families into the learning process.
- This year's Toyota Family Teacher of the Year is Elizabeth Atack, of the Nashville Public Library.
- Ms. Atack's program focuses on preparing early childhood students for Kindergarten through parent and family workshops and is recognized for impressive statistics that confirm increased family participation and literacy development.
- Elizabeth and her organization will receive a $20,000 prize to further their exemplary workshops based on parent needs, strategic partnerships and culturally and linguistically responsive teaching strategies.
- This year's second-place winner is Kathleen Johnston, a fourth grade teacher at Tuscano Elementary School in Phoenix, AZ.
- Kathleen is recognized for going the extra mile, investing time outside school hours to get her students and their families to a shared place of success, creating the perfect parent, teacher and child connection.
- In combining data and student-developed goals to build skills and a love of reading and learning, Kathleen is generating results that will shape her entire school district.