Toyota was recognized at the opening of the Ready Kids Conference in Louisville Monday.
The company announced 14 new early childhood learning programs – dubbed “bornlearning academies" – as part of a larger five-year, $1M dollar commitment to early learning.
Helen Carroll, community relations manager with Toyota, says the free academies are meant to better prepare pre-K kids for kindergarten.
"About half the kids in Kentucky, when tested for kindergarten readiness, are not ready. This program focuses on what a parent can do to get their children ready for school, and the basis is using everyday moments as education opportunities for the children," she says.
The “bornlearning” concept was launched by United Way Worldwide, which also provides materials for the academies.
Currently Toyota funds 35 academies throughout the state. Four of the new programs will be located in Fayette County. An additional 25 academies will take place this fall, all funded by a federal Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant.