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Toyota Invests in Kentucky Education

Marlene Wright teaching to classroom, "What are we doing right now. What are we doing when we share?"

Welcome to Marlene Wright's third grade class in Georgetown, Kentucky. It's part of the highest ranked schools in the state. "One reason is because of consistency. What's expected of students in kindergarten is expected of students all the way through fifth grade."

Consistency. It's a motto Toyota as a company lives by and helped carry through to the Scott County, Kentucky public school system with a 26 million dollar donation. The automaker believes these are the faces of their future workforce.

Leah Riney is the principal at Anne Mason Elementary School in Georgetown. She says, "That is what we've taken from Toyota, is that eventually our students have to be able to perform in the real world."

Here, business and industry problem-solving strategies are integrated into teaching practices. Students learn how to be independent thinkers. They're also held more accountable for their own progress. It's part of the Quest teaching model based on Toyota principals.

Wright says, "Whatever problem we're having, it's no secret it's a problem. They are part of the solution and I think when you give them that opportunity to be a part of the solution and come up with strategies, then they see they have the tools they're going to need later in life."

Scott County, Kentucky has had such a success with the teaching model, they've had more than 40 schools visit to learn more about the program. But out of all the honors and awards, educators say it's the students who gain the most from Toyota's investment.

"And that's one of things that this continuous improvement process that Toyota has brought into our culture has given every child -- that thought that yes, I can be anything I want to be as long as I work hard enough toward it."






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