Customers At Tustin Car Dealerships Are Happy That Toyota Is Helping Families Become Self-Sufficient

Toyota understands the importance of families being economically self-sufficient. It is vital that families within the community can maintain enough income to consistently have sufficient funds for their basic requirements such as food, housing, utilities, health care, transportation, taxes, dependent care, and clothing. 


When families can do this, Tustin car dealerships say it takes the strain off financial assistance or subsidies from private or public organizations having to give out money to these families in dire straits. 

Toyota is in partnership with the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL), which works to break the generational cycle of poverty through family literacy. Customers at Tustin car dealerships are happy to know that Toyota Family Learning also helps parents become more involved in their children’s schools and the community. This is achieved by creating as well as improving social networks. The program consists of Parent and Child Together (PACT) Time®, Parent Time classes, and Family Service Learning projects.

A case study of Toyota’s Family Learning program is of Erica Blanco. Based on information from the Toyota dealer near Tustin, Erica Blanco took some time out of her busy life for Toyota Family Learning classes to invest in herself and her four children. 

The single mother from South Dallas is working to build strong family bonds by learning how to better communicate and spending more quality time with her children. 

Blanco remarked - “No more excuses.” “I used to come home saying, ‘I’m too tired,’ or ‘we don’t have the money for that.’ I just paid the bills. Now, I budget for going out to eat, going to the movies. We’ve also found out there are tons of things to do for free in our community – and it’s fun.”

Blanco joined Toyota Family Learning at one of three new sites in Dallas. The objective is for parents to set goals for themselves and their families. If you are curious to know about Blanco’s family goal, it’s to be healthier and to exercise. Additional, the Tustin car dealerships say her personal goal is to remain on top of her finances by budgeting wisely and increasing her credit score. 

Blanco affirms - “Since we began the program, my credit score has gotten better.” “Also, a big difference is I don’t procrastinate anymore. I’ve taken the challenge and have stepped up. I’ve made a commitment to go to every class and it has paid off.”

Building A Family Learning Community 

Sharon Darling, president, and founder, NCFL says - “Working with Toyota and community partners, we’re building a comprehensive system in Dallas for family learning.” “When parents and children come together we know that we can sustain the gains that both generations make when parents begin that climb out of poverty and children start on the path for success in school.”

Over 30 local nonprofit organizations have been meeting every month since October to create a strategic literacy plan for Dallas, which primarily focuses on adults. The organizations makeup part of the Literacy Coalition and are establishing a shared vision that concentrates on equity and significant leadership from community members and families. 

Besides that, four dozen parents are enlisted in the Parent Leadership Institute. The Toyota Family Learning, which meets monthly, started in February. It centers on building skills through service-learning. Parents are divided into groups and deal with problems facing the community. The parents advocate, attend public meetings and talk one-on-one with elected officials. The projects that are on the table are cleaning up and updating a park and bringing a grocery store into a particular part of town. 

Al Smith, group vice president, and chief social innovation officer, Toyota informs us - “NCFL’s model is transformative for parents, children, and families, as it helps people to gain skills that change the trajectory of their lives for generations to come. This is why we have helped spread NCFL all over the U.S., which now includes Dallas.” “The NCFL Dallas collaboration is an innovative approach for the organization, closely aligned with Toyota’s philosophy of sharing knowledge and collaborating to increase positive impact in key communities.”

Helping Under-Resourced Families

From the parents participating in Toyota Family Learning, 58 percent are unemployed; 61 percent of families are living on less than $25,000 per year, and 45 percent did not graduate from high school.

These statistics are no laughing matter, especially when research has shown that the top predictor of a child’s academic success is the parent’s education, specifically the mother. Research also reveals that beginning school with a “ready to learn” attitude is important for students’ long term academic success, however less than half of Texas children were not even kindergarten ready based on the Texas Education Agency’s 2018 annual report. 

Toyota Family Learning assists parents to build workforce skills and become more confident. When parents support their children’s education, they help children achieve more academic success and lower absenteeism. 

Parents who enrolled in the program and graduated in 2017 reported to achieve the following: 

  • 96 percent became a better parent

  • 74 percent improved English skills

  • 53 percent upgraded skills to keep current job

  • 49 percent got a better job

  • 53 percent increased income

  • 36 percent obtained the knowledge necessary to pass the U.S. citizenship test

  • 53 percent earned a GED certificate

Toyota And NCFL Have Been Long-Time Partners

Toyota and NCFL have been working together for 28 years, partaking this proven family learning model with more than 420 sites in 38 states throughout the United States. Over 4.5 million parents and children have been positively affected by the program. Till now, Toyota has invested $50 million in NCFL. 

Blanco’s family is enrolled in Toyota Family Learning at Jubilee Park & Community Center in Dallas. Toyota and NCFL have also partnered with Literacy Achieves and Voice of Hope to offer the program in other areas of town.

Ever since starting the program, Blanco has seen changes in her 12-year-old daughter. Blanco claims her daughter is trying harder, passing all her classes, and thinking about applying to college, as well as meeting her objective to improve her academic performance. 

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