Tomblin, Toyota announce early education program at three schools

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By WV MetroNews Staff

On Monday, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin joined The Education Alliance and representatives from Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia to announce three West Virginia elementary schools selected to pilot Toyota bornlearning Academies this fall.

Highlawn Elementary in Cabell County, Buffalo Elementary in Putnam County and East Lynn Elementary School in Wayne County were selected to participate in the program, which will focus on supporting early childhood learning opportunities in West Virginia.

“Programs like Toyota’s bornlearing Academy are the types of public-private partnerships we must seek out to develop a foundation to support a lifetime of learning,” Gov. Tomblin said. “From early childhood education to programs throughout our education system, including middle school, career tech and workforce development programs.”

The program offers free school-based workshops which will attempt to teach parents and other caregivers how to turn everyday moments into learning opportunities by offering them hands-on activities and strategies they can use to maximize early learning and development and support future academic successes.

Since the program is school-based it hopes educators and school administrators will get to know each child and their needs.

Millie Marshall, President of Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia said the program has the potential to help them in the long run because it stimulates the future workforce.

“Research has shown that setting that future worker on the path to success really begins at birth and with directed parent education,” she said. “Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia is proud to make this investment, through Toyota bornlearning Academies, in the future of our company and in the future of the state.”

In the upcoming school year, Toyota will continue to expand the program in states where it operates manufacturing plants. The program was first launched in Kentucky in 2012.