Pat Urdialez       480-472-6542

Family Literacy Program

Longfellow family literacy teacher named America's best

Pat Urdialez's leadership and innovations help families and communities create a brighter future.

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Pat Urdialez of Longfellow Elementary was named the National Family Literacy Teacher of the Year. The award is sponsored by Toyota and the National Center for Family Literacy.

Longfellow's Family Literacy Program is receiving $10,000, and Urdialez is being featured on a jumbotron in New York City's Times Square.

Moms and dads who participate in the program attend adult education and parenting classes. They also have classes with their children, where they learn how to help with homework and become more involved in their education.

“I can’t say enough about family literacy and the success it has brought to our school and community,” Urdialez said. “It is the amazing Longfellow Elementary team and wonderful students who are responsible for this honor.

"We have developed a Family Literacy Program that is truly moving families forward in so many ways. As a result, our families are finding a solid place in our community,” she added.

“Pat’s enthusiasm and innovations are helping families and the entire Mesa community create a brighter future,” said Patricia Pineda, group vice president, Toyota Motor North America, Inc. “Her efforts are why we continue the tradition of honoring the unsung heroes of education through the Toyota Family Literacy Teacher of the Year Award.”

Toyota and the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) established the Toyota Family Literacy Program (TFLP) in 2003 to improve the language and literacy skills of Hispanic and other immigrant families.   Each of the 15 current Toyota communities offers educational programming to families at three elementary schools, for a total of 45-school-based sites.  Since 1991, Toyota has helped NCFL develop family literacy services that have touched the lives of more than one million families.

Toyota and NCFL firmly believe that building on the strong culture of family will go a long way toward narrowing the academic achievement gap for English language learners.

                                  - Sharon Darling, President and Founder, NCFL

TFLP Impacts:

As part of the Toyota Family Literacy Program (TFLP), parents and children attend school together. Parents work to improve their English skills, and also learn how to support their children's language and literacy development.

  • Significant literacy gains by adults, the majority of whom improve their literacy scores by one or more levels.
  • Children in the program exceed their peers in several area including academic performance, motivation to learn, attendance, classroom behavior, and other areas.
  • More than 70% of participating families hold a library card by the end of the first program year.
  • More than 94% of parents report they are more involved in their children's education.
  • More than 75% of participating parents expect their child to earn a college degree.