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Newport School Among State Expansion of "bornlearning" Academies

Kentucky will fund 25 bornlearning Academies this fall, Gov. Steve Beshear announced Monday.

This is the first step of a four-year, $1.4 million expansion of 150 academies across the state. This initiative, funded by Kentucky’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge federal grant, will build upon the investment of Toyota manufacturing operations of $1 million through 2016 (See KY Forward story here.)

Newport Primary School is among the chosen institutions.

“Race to the Top funds have given us an opportunity to build on a proven practice for supporting families,” said Beshear. “Parents and caregivers often need support and guidance on how to best teach their children and set them on the right track for learning. These academies provide them with tools to prepare their young children to succeed in kindergarten and beyond.”

Bornlearning Academies are school-based workshops that meet a critical need in Kentucky communities – early childhood parental education. The academies consist of six sessions designed to demonstrate how to turn everyday moments with children into learning opportunities.

The bornlearning concept is based on a strategy to engage entire communities in the importance of education at every stage of a child’s life. The academies provide a community resource for parents and teachers to collaborate in the earliest stages of a child’s development and create a strong connection between home and school.

Materials used at the academies were created by United Way Worldwide and a workshop model developed by Tim Hanner, retired Kenton County school superintendent; United Way of Greater Cincinnati; and Northern Kentucky University. The partnership grew to include the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood and United Way of Kentucky.

Toyota supported a five-year statewide expansion of academies beginning in 2012. Now in its third year of funding, the company has launched 21 bornlearning Academies and will fund 70 academies at the end of the five year investment. Toyota today announced 14 additional schools implementing academies this year.

Early childhood education is a proven long-term investment that stimulates economic growth and ensures future prosperity. Every dollar invested in early childhood education is both an educational and economic stimulus for families.

“As a company with the world’s largest manufacturing plant in Kentucky, Toyota’s growth and success depends on the quality of the workforce,” said Helen Carroll, manager of community relations at Toyota. “We need workers who are prepared through high quality education and training. We have learned that workers prepared for college and career start out as children prepared for kindergarten. And that starts with parents. That’s why we are focusing our investments getting kids ready for school through parent education and engagement.”

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