Toyota dealerships around the country engaged their local communities by partnering with schools and museums as part of this year’s Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest. In addition to providing information on how to enter this free annual contest for kids, they distributed art kits for families and lesson plans for teachers. The annual Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest accepts artwork submissions from youth, ages 4-15, from October through January.
In Texas, Lost Pines Toyota worked with Bastrop Independent School District to produce an informational video in the dealership distributed on Facebook and Instagram. “The smiles, the joy in their eyes … when they found out that they could participate in something like this, they felt like anything was possible … the world of design was theirs,” said Brian Bowling, Afterschool Centers on Education (ACE) Coordinator, Mina Elementary School in Bastrop.
The school district’s Community Engagement Coordinator, April Lewandowski, M. Ed., coordinated the distribution of the art kits to teachers. She said, “We are really excited to showcase the creativity and artistic talents of our students as part of the Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest. This is a unique partnership that makes us very proud.”
Carlos Liriano, Dealer Principal of Lost Pines Toyota, shared, “It’s a beautiful thing to see kids’ imagination at work when given the opportunity.” He added, “It’s a blessing to have businesses and educational institutions providing opportunities together for an engaged community.”
Below are other examples of how Toyota dealerships supported education in their communities by partnering with the Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest:
- John Elway’s Crown Toyota in Ontario, California wrapped a 2021 Toyota Corolla in a design of stitched artwork by six past winners and finalists of the national contest. The car is topped with “The Jellyfish Car” by Grace Sun, age 9 with sides featuring “The Eco Car” by Lynn Sun, age 11 and “The Energy-Saving Car” by Alyssa Jieun Kim, age 14. The front hood is adorned by the “Phoenix Dream Car” by Katherine Wang, age 15. The driver’s side features “Connected by Dream” by Alyssa Jieun Kim, age 14 and “The Plant Car” by Heather Choi, age 10. In addition, the dealership collaborated with teens from the United Way’s Promise Scholars who served as student ambassadors for the contest and created a student-made video to encourage participation by their peers.
- Marina del Rey Toyota in California partnered with local nonprofit Ocean Conservation Society, which is dedicated to marine wildlife preservation and research. To engage the community, the partners created custom coloring sheets and included them in Dream Car art kits given away to parents and teachers.
- Toyota Place in Garden Grove, California created custom coloring sheets and included a letter to the local teachers and parents who received the Dream Car art kits. Working with Matt Franklin from the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Garden Grove Unified School District, every teacher received an art kit and access to the digital Dream Car Teacher Lesson Plan for their virtual learning programs.
- Carson Toyota in California hosted a Family Day during December for the City of Carson’s Early Childhood Education Centers during which they distributed free family art kits.
- Serra Toyota of Traverse City in Michigan partnered with the Great Lakes Children’s Museum. Because museum hours are sporadic during this time, the dealership is serving as a pick-up point for local families interested in receiving art kits. The museum is working with a statewide consortium to produce free virtual educational programs themed on car design, too.