Toyota kicks in money to bring preschool lessons into homes

09/25/2012 04:09 PM

Gov. Steve Beshear joined officials with Toyota to announce $115,000 in funding to expand a program designed to create early learning opportunities for young children and their families.

The grant will establish 10 academies in Kentucky elementary schools that will help teach parents of newborns up to five-year-olds how to turn everyday moments into learning opportunities.

Toyota committed to five more academies over the next four years and a total investment of $450,000.

Beshear’s push to expand state funding to send more low-income students to pre-school failed in the General Assembly. So the academies essentially allows parents to take some of the lessons of preschool into their homes.

“Kentucky’s ability to compete in an increasingly sophisticated world hinges on our children – all of our children off to a great start in life. That folks, is the most succinct summary of what is both our greatest opportunity and our greatest challenge in the commonwealth of Kentucky,” Beshear said.

Overall, other state early childhood education programs are partially funded through tobacco settlement money, which is dwindling as fewer people smoke.

Beshear has already asked the state lawmakers to use general fund dollars to invest in early childhood education and expand access, and he said he will continue to push for those funds over his second term as governor.

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