Toyota Family Learning

HPL Toyota Family Learning Logo

Houston Public Library’s Toyota Family Learning program is a family learning program that aims to position families for success through comprehensive learning workshops that strengthen the whole family. The family centered learning workshops include dedicated parenting classes, parent and child family time, child time, mentoring, technology skills training and community service learning opportunities. The families will be equipped with the knowledge, tools, and resources necessary to achieve real quality of life change for themselves and their community.

Note: 2016 program information will be updated here as it becomes available.

The Houston Public Library’s Toyota Family Learning Program is a national initiative of the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) developed with generous funding from Toyota.

We would like to thank Council Member Ed Gonzalez,  for helping us celebrate 15 Houston families that completed our Toyota Family Learning program. The ceremony took place on June 11, 2015 at the Julia Ideson Building

HPL Toyota Family Learning Group Photo

The Powerful Collaborations: Library-School-Community Partnerships webcast was recorded live on March 17, 2015 at NCFL’s  2015 Families Learning Summit in Houston. The webcast was made possible by the support of Better World Books and presented by NCFL and the Urban Libraries Council.

We would like to thank Council Member Ed Gonzalez for helping us celebrate 15 Houston families that completed our Toyota Family Learning program. The ceremony took place on January 13, 2015 at the Carnegie Neighborhood Library and Center for Learning

HPL Toyota Family Learning Group Photo







Houston Families Graduate from NCFL and Toyota Family Learning Program

National Center for Families Learning and Toyota Honor Families at Houston Public Library

June 10, 2014

The first 100 adult and children participants in a family learning program at Houston Public Library celebrated their joint accomplishments in the classroom, home and community in a graduation ceremony this morning.

“In the face of real obstacles in the education landscape, these local graduates exemplify an emerging constant – families learning together is a major key to success,” said Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, Houston Public Library Director.

Houston Public Library launched the program with a Toyota Family Learning grant, awarded by the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) and Toyota for innovation in engaging families in learning. The three-year, $175,000 grant is a part of Toyota Family Learning’s pioneering movement to bridge the gap between the classroom and lifelong learning. The Toyota Family Learning program focuses on parents and children learning alongside each other, from other families and by serving their communities through instruction, service learning, mentoring and technology use.

Graduates received a Family Time Kit and HP tablets, a hands-on way to bring to life the interactive tools at Toyota Family Learning’s In October 2013, as a part of Toyota Family Learning, NCFL conducted a survey and found that more than half of parents wish they knew how to make better use of the time they have with their children. To address that need, NCFL created the new site, a resource for graduates to encourage ongoing growth, and made it available to families nationwide for learning through activities online, offline and on the go.

Over the course of the program, graduating families set goals and made progress toward them by completing service learning activities together, engaging in college and career readiness activities, using technology for educational purposes and mentoring other families to do the same.

“I’ve learned how to set goals outside my house, how to be an example, and how to help the community,” said parent participant Agustina Medrano.

“I identified what I’m doing wrong as a mom and how I can improve in order to become the best mom in the world,” said parent participant Anai Cruz. “I learned so many new things in this program – team work, helping others, better use of technology and researching on the internet.”

Graduation requirements of the Toyota Family Learning program include:

  • Regular attendance in Parent Time and Parent and Child Together (PACT) time: Participants engaged in guided learning with a focus on leadership. During PACT time, families learned together while engaging in activities including mentoring and service learning, using technology together, reading together and taking family trips.
  • Service learning activities: Reflecting Toyota Family Learning’s guiding philosophy, which is rooted in community, families participated in at least three service projects.
  • Family-to-family mentoring: Building community networks is integral to maintaining learning success post-graduation, and the mentoring element teaches families how to share learnings among one other during the program and beyond.

The community grants are just one facet of Toyota Family Learning – a six-year, nationwide initiative that also offers an online learning community and mobile learning adventures for families. Toyota Family Learning is the most recent initiative made possible by the 23-year partnership between NCFL and Toyota, which emphasizes an intergenerational solution to educational challenges. Together, NCFL and Toyota have helped more than one million families around the country make significant progress in school, in their homes and in their communities.

Additional Information

Family Time Machine available at

Toyota Family Learning resources and information available at

Houston Public Library is Selected as First-Ever Toyota Family Learning Grant Winner From Vast Pool of Competitors

HPL is One of Five Winners to Kick Off Innovative New Learning Program Aimed at Benefitting Underserved Families

February 21, 2014

Today, Houston Public Library (HPL) announces it has been selected as one of five winners of the Toyota Family Learning grant, designed to fund new family learning programs as more and more national attention is being put on the crucial role a family plays in a child’s learning process.

In a highly competitive selection process, with more than 1,000 organizations applying for a grant, the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) and Toyota selected HPL to receive the first-ever Toyota Family Learning grant and become the flagship family learning project of its kind in the community.

HPL will receive a $175,000 funding grant and a wide range of NCFL resources, including training, communication guidance and program materials to further family learning efforts among vulnerable families. NCFL and HPL will work closely together, supporting the local community and working toward their shared goal of creating a strong family unit.

“The Houston Public Library is proud and honored to be selected as the very first public library to receive the Toyota Family Learning grant,” said Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, HPL director. “Through this amazing opportunity to partner with Toyota and NCFL we are able to further our commitment and enhance our programs and services to help families in our community build on their strengths and achieve their learning goals. The leverage provided through the strategic partnership between HPL and these outstanding partners coupled with the hard work and dedication of  families makes us all win.”

Along with Houston, the four additional grant winners come from Providence, RI; Bronx, NY; Lincoln, NE; and San Pedro, CA. And while each community has specific plans to use the funds in a way that is unique to their location, they all align with the Toyota Family Learning initiative’s larger mission of bringing families into the learning process for increased educational gains.

A total of 15 grants, open to schools, libraries and community-based organizations that provide services to families, will be awarded over the course of the six-year Toyota Family Learning initiative. Submissions are evaluated on a number of factors, including strength of existing services, commitment from community partners, and strength and innovation of proposal.

The community grants focus on family mentor and service learning programs and are just one facet of Toyota Family Learning – a new, nationwide initiative that also offers mobile learning adventures for families and a host of online resources.

Toyota Family Learning is the most recent initiative to come from a more than 20-year partnership between NCFL and Toyota. Over the years, the two have joined forces to provide intergenerational solutions to educational challenges and respond to societal changes and opportunities while engaging families online, offline, and on the go.

While experts and policy makers realize that learning is not only for textbooks and schools, educators continue to seek support to make this a reality and confess it’s still a challenge to bring parents into their child’s learning process. That’s why the vision for Toyota Family Learning goes beyond a specific program and seeks to reverse this trend by creating a modern-day movement for families learning together.

About the National Center for Families Learning

The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping adults and children learn together. NCFL creates and deploys innovative programs and strategies that support learning, literacy and family engagement in education. From the classroom to the community to the digital frontier, NCFL collaborates with educators, advocates and policy-makers to help families construct hotspots for learning wherever they go. For more information on NCFL’s 24-year track record, visit

About Toyota

Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. There are more than 1,500 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in the United States, which sold more than 2 million vehicles in 2012. Toyota directly employs over 31,000 in the United States and its investment here is currently valued at more than $19.5 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. Toyota's annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods and services from U.S. suppliers totals over $27.5 billion.

Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. To date, Toyota has contributed $700 million to nonprofits in the United States.


Luisa Montes
SHIFT Communications for NCFL
(415) 591-8464