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*Application period now closed*

Let's Learn Together Outside: Nature-Based Play for Families

The National Center for Families Learning is accepting applications for Let's Learn Together Outside, a nature-based learning adventure series for families. Let's Learn Together Outside will equip parents with research-based tools and strategies to engage their children in learning through exploring nature through a series of three workshops.

NCFL will award three organizations a $3,000 grant and provide training and support to implement Let's Learn Together Outside events for parents/caregivers and their preschool children. NCFL requests applicants be public libraries, particularly those in urban areas with a high poverty population and a dearth of nature-based learning opportunities, to implement a series of three workshops for families.

Funds and other support

Winning applicants will receive a $3,000 grant for the purpose of providing three nature-based workshops for families. These workshops will include Parent Time followed by Parent and Child Together (PACT) Time ®.

PACT Time — activities that are defined in federal legislation as interactive literacy activities between parents and children

Parent Time — activities that are defined in federal legislation as training for parents regarding how to be the primary teacher for their children and full partners in the education of their children

Funding must be used to implement NCFL's Let's Learn Together Outside workshops and can support staff, facilities, supplies, outreach to families, and other direct funding needs as determined by the grantee and reflected in the proposed budget.

The grantee will be expected to allocate a portion of grant funding as follows:

  • Designated Parent Facilitators to implement Let's Learn Together Outside
  • Meals and childcare for families during programming
  • Staff participation in trainings

Sites will receive the following from NCFL:

  • Ongoing training and technical assistance
  • Parent Time and PACT Time materials and guidance.

Applicant organization must:

  • Agree to provide family-focused educational services for at least 20 parents, grandparents, and/or legal guardians and their children ranging in age from 3-5.
  • Provide three workshops of at least two hours in duration, which includes meal time, and the workshops must be provided in three consecutive weeks.

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed by a committee designated by NCFL. Applicants will be notified by January 13, 2017. NCFL intends to select site(s) based on the following criteria:

  • Adherence to all Let's Learn Together Outside components
  • Capacity to implement the project (staffing; expertise in providing intergenerational programming; facilities)
  • Strength of implementation plan
  • Application budget.

Expectations of NCFL Let's Learn Together Outside Site

The grant recipient must complete implementation between April 1, 2017- June 30, 2017. NCFL will design and create curriculum and materials to provide participants engaging family nature-based play content. Program will include a series of workshops to 25 families broken into segments:

  • Families learn about the program together
  • Parents/caretakers and children break off into separate learning and discussion areas for independent Parent Time/Child Time
  • Families reunite for PACT Time to discuss respective lessons
  • Families break for meal
  • Families visit outdoor learning site to implement lessons together

NCFL Training and Technical Assistance

Applicants should build in adequate time and resources to conduct initial and ongoing program planning. This will include:

  • A mandatory ½ day training/orientation in March/April for designated parent facilitator and other key staff.
  • Ongoing virtual support for workshop execution.

Communication

Grantees will be required to collaborate with NCFL in creating communication opportunities.

Evaluation and Improvement

Let's Learn Together Outside will require the regular collection and input of data, family stories, photos, and videos of participating families to the degree possible, with appropriate release forms signed by families. It is expected that data and information collected will be used to drive improvement of services.

NCFL's data collection and research plan will include at least the following expectations for grant recipients:

  • Track number of families participating in Let's Learn Together Outside workshops
  • Track parent knowledge gains in nature-based intergenerational learning strategies using NCFL collection tools
  • Track attendance for parents and children
  • Honor data collection timelines
  • Submit final program report

Budget

Grant funds are intended to support the implementation of the workshop series. A budget must be completed and uploaded as a part of the online application submission. A detailed summary of expenses must be submitted to NCFL at the end of the program.

Applications must be submitted by close of business on December 21, 2016, at 5:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time. The application must be submitted via the online application form available at http://surveys.familieslearning.org/s3/Lets-Learn-Together-Outside. Any questions should be addressed to Andrea Brown at abrown@familieslearning.org.