June 26, 2008 - Georgetown, KY - Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK) has awarded four grants to Kentucky United Ways across the Commonwealth totaling nearly $200,000 in support of education programs that focus on early childhood development. The four agencies receiving the grants include United Way of Southeastern Kentucky/Hazard-Perry County Community Ministries, Inc., in Hazard, Ky.; United Way of Southern Kentucky in Bowling Green, Ky.; United Way of Pennyrile in Hopkinsville, Ky.; and United Way of Paducah-McCracken County in Paducah, Ky. All donations will provide seed money for new sustainable programs.
"We appreciate TMMK's generous grants to these programs, in addition to their already substantial support of United Ways throughout the Commonwealth," said Terry Tolan, president of United Way of Kentucky. "These grants will enhance United Way's commitment to early childhood initiatives, helping to assure that young children in Kentucky get the best possible start."
The United Way of Southeastern Kentucky and the Hazard-Perry County Community Ministries support the Starland and New Beginnings Early Childhood Centers and will receive a $50,000 grant from TMMK. The donation will be used for professional development of staff members to help with retention of qualified professionals at both facilities. The grant will also assist the accreditation process from the National Association for Education of Young Children which will increase enrollment and thereby increase the number of children in the community who receive high quality early care and education.
In Bowling Green, Toyota's funding to the United Way of Southern Kentucky will launch the "Invest in Success" Early Childhood Education Program that will concentrate on ensuring all children will enter school ready to succeed. This early childhood literacy reading program will involve and benefit the entire community.
In Hopkinsville, Toyota's $50,000 grant to the United Way of Pennyrile will be used to support the Ready to Read Early Childhood Literacy Project. The donation will be used to support the purchase of born to read book bags distributed to all new mothers at local hospitals, literacy kits given to all licensed and in-home daycare facilities, and workshops to allow follow-up visits with all mothers and children reached through the program.
TMMK also will donate to the United Way of Paducah-McCracken County for its Head Start & KIDS Company program. A grant for $41,342 will be used to purchase touch screen computers equipped with developmentally appropriate software. The software will enhance the learning process in math, language, literacy comprehension, number recognition, cognitive thinking skills, and bilingual programs. The funds will also purchase Smart Boards that will enable teachers to use the newest technology to enhance group learning.
"We are not only pleased to be investing in our communities across Kentucky, but these programs are specifically investing in children and their development. There is nothing more important," said Steve St. Angelo, TMMK president. "These types of programs provide opportunities to sustain our future."
TMMK is located in Georgetown, Ky., and is Toyota's largest manufacturing facility in North America employing about 7,000 team members. Initially, TMMK hired team members from 116 of Kentucky's 120 counties and continues its philosophy of giving back to the communities where its team members live. TMMK has the capacity to produce 500,000 vehicles and engines annually. Its products include the Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon and Solara as well as V6 and four-cylinder engines and engine components. Since arriving in Georgetown in 1986, TMMK has distributed more than $32 million in gifts and sponsorships across Kentucky.