TORRANCE, Calif., Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Toyota and Latinos in Tech Innovation and Social Media (LATISM) will team up to host a candid education discussion on October 4, leveraging the inclusiveness of Twitter and the expertise of the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL), a longtime partner of Toyota. The hour-long open discussion will begin at 9 p.m. EDT using the hashtags #ToyotaLatino and #LATISM.
The discussion will cover a range of literacy and education topics important in the Latino community and will feature Rhonda Childress, English as a second language (ESL) specialist with NCFL (@NCFLiteracy). Toyota will participate using its new handle, @ToyotaLatino, launched at the start of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) as a broader tool to engage the community and share information.
Education is a key focus of Toyota's philanthropy work and a top priority for LATISM and NCFL. The three organizations have partnered in the past to foster online conversation, including an April Twitter party around mentoring, and an August Twitter party on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Since 1991, Toyota has supported the work of the National Center for Family Literacy and committed more than $36 million to establish literacy programs that pair parents and their children in the classroom to increase basic language and literacy skills. More than one million families across more than 250 U.S. literacy sites have benefited since the partnership began. Additionally, Toyota established the "Teacher of the Year" award to recognize literacy educators and their efforts.
"Supporting education and literacy in our diverse communities is part of the core values at Toyota," said Julie Hamp, chief communications officer, Toyota Motor North America, Inc. "We are proud to join with LATISM and the National Center for Family Literacy to foster a conversation that builds on research and respects unique cultural viewpoints – all with the goal of supporting kids and families."
Toyota also is partnering with LATISM for several other events this fall, including exclusive automotive sponsorship of the flagship LATISM 2012 Conference held October 25-27, 2012 in Houston, expected to host approximately 1,000 community leaders, social media and technology influencers, educators, government officials and others. Education is one of four specialty conference tracks, during which Toyota and its partners will participate on panels.
"A great number of our members are passionate about schools, literacy and smart ideas to share with both their online and local communities," said Ana Roca Castro, founder and chairwoman of LATISM. "We appreciate Toyota's sponsorship and the participation of the National Center for Family Literacy to spur the discussion and encourage us all to examine issues that impact our children and the future of this country."
Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. Toyota directly employs over 30,000 in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design.
Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed over $600 million dollars to philanthropic programs in the U.S.
For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit www.toyota.com/philanthropy.
Latinos in Tech Innovation and Social Media (LATISM) is a 501(c) 4 nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing the social, civic and economic status of the Latino community through technology innovation and social media. LATISM also helps to raise awareness among corporate brands, NGOs and government entities about using social media to reach Latinos. Our partnership initiatives include research, event sponsorships, and leadership training. A pioneering social media organization with over 180,000 members in its network, LATISM has been hailed as the most influential online movement in the new multicultural Web. To learn more about the LATISM organization, visit http://latism.org
Toyota Motor North America, Inc.
GolinHarris for Toyota