Our Capabilities

Community Coalitions: A Strategy to Scale Family Literacy

Have you asked….

How do we broaden services for families in our program? or How do we create sustainable partnerships with other agencies?

Have you said….

I wish more people in our community, region or nation knew about and helped multiply the positive outcomes we are seeing achieved by our families in literacy programs?

What if…

You were part of a network that facilitated professional development, shared resources, marketing, created opportunities to develop new partnerships, and positioned your community to compete for outside funding? - A Literacy Coalition!

What is a Literacy Coalition?

A coalition is at once a distinct organization AND a collective of many organizations and stakeholders. It is both the lead organization AND its membership. The coalition's work is to act on behalf of the collective. Primary tasks for literacy coalitions are to facilitate change and track improvement in literacy in the community as a whole (Hatry & Morely, The Urban Institute, 2008).

It places improved learner outcomes at the center of its mission and its strategic decisions. Imagine a "pebble in the pond" model with learners at the center, service delivery providers surrounding them; with supports for effective service provision and the many at large community partners working to support increased literacy levels.

Who is part of a Literacy Coalition?

A broad range of community stakeholders who care about improving educational outcomes children, families and adults such as:

  • Community based organizations
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Child care providers
  • Civic organizations
  • Correctional institutions
  • State adult education partners
  • Adult learners
  • The business community
  • Local media
  • Local governments & school districts
  • Institutes of higher education
  • Philanthropy
  • Health care providers

  • What do Literacy Coalitions do?

  • Increase resources for literacy and target investments for the greatest impact
  • Expand access to literacy services throughout the community
  • Provide coordination to assure the most efficient, evidence-based services are brought to scale
  • Spread best practice throughout and integrated system of lifelong learning
  • Ensure accountability to achieve high instruction and program management
  • Engage community leadership at its highest levels to build lasting solutions
  • Keep literacy visible as a top priority in the community

  • Where do we start?

    • Join an existing literacy coalition in your community: There are more than 100 coalitions across the United States. Coalitions welcome new member organizations, programs and individual volunteers. Learn more about the Flint & Genesee Literacy Network in Michigan.
    • Begin a conversation with current and potential partners about increasing collaboration and shared resources.
    • Learn more about how NCFL Literacy Powerline can help support your participation in a local literacy collaboration or get one started in your community.

    NCFL Literacy Powerline offers community and coalition building resources and technical assistance to broaden partnerships across communities by working with educators, business and labor leaders, philanthropy, civic and faith-based groups, policymakers, literacy providers and students to demonstrate that everyone thrives when a community is committed to literacy.


    Discover the power and potential of NCFL Literacy Powerline's community and coalition building services by emailing Josh Cramer or calling 502-584-1133.