Our Capabilities

PD and Training

Professional development provides the blueprint for successful learning and literacy program implementation. NCFL offers on-site training and technical assistance, tools and resources, online courses and distance learning, as well as the Families Learning Conference. NCFL trainings generally last one to three days, and can be customized to meet your school, library, or community-organization's needs. All professional development is provided by certified trainers with subject matter expertise, and Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available for selected trainings. NCFL also can provide presenters or facilitators for group presentations, discussions, luncheons, conferences, planning meetings, customized trainings, technical assistance and other events.

NCFL offers a variety of trainings designed for diverse audiences on these topics:


Family Literacy and Learning

Foundations in Family Literacy

Foundations in Family Literacy provides beginning family literacy practitioners with the framework needed to fully understand the comprehensive, four-component family literacy model. Foundations is designed to provide a basic overview of the principles and practices of family literacy and the research that supports those practices.

Collaborating for Component Integration

Collaborating for Component Integration guides participants toward integrating all four components of a family literacy program through the creation of core messages, assessing of levels of services, and development of curricular connections based on the goals, needs, and interests of families.

Sustaining Your Literacy Program

Funding streams may ebb and flow, but the need for literacy services in your community remains. How can you navigate the turbulent funding waters for your program while continuing to serve families in need? Learn strategies from successful program managers that you can adapt in your community to keep your program's mission prominent and funded.

The Sweet Spot of Family Literacy: Parent and Child Together (PACT) Time® and Parent Time for Preschool Families

Much like the sweet spot on a tennis racket or a golf club that provides the most effective hit, PACT Time ® and Parent Time are the value-added components of family literacy. Find out how to use these two components to enhance the skills of families and improve literacy outcomes. Walk away with new ideas about how parents and children can engage in meaningful activities that bridge the gap between school and home.

Meaningful Learning in Parent Time and Parent and Child Together (PACT) Time® for Preschool Families and the Elementary Grades

Parent Time and PACT Time ® are the heart of a family literacy program. They are the glue that binds the four components of family literacy together and always complement each other. Participants will learn how to incorporate parent topics into successful Parent Time sessions and implement the process of PACT Time for families of preschool and elementary children. Participants will leave this session with an individualized plan for Parent Time and PACT Time.


Children's Literacy

Children's Literacy — Infants and Toddlers

This training focuses on the research-based skills and strategies that promote language and literacy learning in infants and toddlers, delivered within the context of children's everyday experiences, routines, environments and relationships.

Children's Literacy — Preschool

This training focuses on the research-based skills and strategies important for preparing preschool teachers get children ready to read. A specific focus on intentional and purposeful teaching through an assessment-to-instruction process is emphasized.

Read Together, Reach for the Stars: Dialogic Reading

This train-the-trainer session will help staff provide parents with the knowledge and skills needed in order to use dialogic reading techniques with their children. Dialogic reading is a research-based technique that can be used effectively with children ages two through five. Participants will leave with materials to deliver eight one-hour parent workshops based on the findings of the National Early Literacy Panel (NELP), research supporting dialogic reading and the work of Dr. Grover "Russ" Whitehurst.

Talk, Talk, Talk: Oral Language/Shared Reading

Don't take everyday conversations for granted! We all talk and think nothing of it, but talking is a major developmental task for young children. This session will explore the area of oral language and how it supports skills that predict later success in reading. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss and practice strategies that work when young children experience them at home, in school, in childcare settings, and elsewhere in the community.

What Works for Early Language and Emergent Literacy Instruction

This interactive training has participants explore practical teacher- and family-based strategies that support emergent language and literacy instruction for young children in the areas of oral language and code-focused instruction. Participants review practical applications of findings from the National Early Literacy Panel Report. Each participant receives a copy of the National Center for Families Learning's guide, What Works: An Introductory Teacher Guide for Early Language and Emergent Literacy Instruction.


Adult Education

Adult Reading: Assessment Informs Instruction

This session focuses first on diagnostic reading assessment to identify strengths and needs in the reading component areas: alphabetics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Participants will learn about assessment approaches/options and will practice creating individual plans for adult learners based on assessment results. Participants also will practice planning strategy instruction and will receive samples of teacher and student materials. These will include detailed instructional activity plans for introducing reading strategies to adult learners.

Building Fluency and Comprehension for Adult Readers

This session offers a brief overview of the components of reading with a focus on research-based strategies and resources to improve reading fluency and comprehension. Participants will learn and practice a sampling of instructional activities in these two component areas that can be used back in their programs to help adults improve their reading skills.

Building Vocabulary and Comprehension for Adult Readers

This very informative session provides an overview of the components of reading and reading instruction: alphabetics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Participants will be introduced to a sampling of the latest research-based strategies in each of the component areas. Participants will practice planning strategy instruction for building/strengthening adults' reading skills. The primary focus will be vocabulary and comprehension strategies for intermediate and higher-level readers. Participants also will learn about a free, online resource that instructors will find to be broadly useful in reading instruction.

Research-Based Strategies for Adult Reading Instruction

This training introduces the components of reading that may contribute to a reading problem: alphabetic skills, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. It suggests research-based instructional strategies for improving adults' reading skills by addressing their needs in the reading-component areas.


Parent Involvement

Building Literacy into Your Parent Education Curriculum

The Parent Time component in family literacy is an ideal time to build parents' skills as their children's first teachers. This training will provide research-based strategies that parents can learn in Parent Time and practice in PACT Time®, to impact their children's literacy development.

Partnering with Families for Student Success

Create a partnership with families focused on student achievement! Through listening and learning alongside family members, teachers are becoming more critically aware of the changes in philosophy and the necessity to include parents in literacy conversations and dialogue. This professional development opportunity, Partnering With Families for Student Success, presents family engagement research and practical ways that this research can be used to connect with families. Effective reading strategies that teachers can share with parents for use with their K-5 children will be presented and explored as a means to increase student achievement in the elementary classroom.

Elementary Parent Workshops to Go

Looking for ways to shift parent involvement to true parent engagement that improves student achievement? This training focuses on the skills and strategies important for educators of five - ten year old children. Specific focus is given to intentional and purposeful teaching strategies that parents can use to support their child's reading acquisition. Participants leave this training with an understanding of research-based strategies to share with parents concerning students' language and literacy skill development in the areas of: creating a home learning environment, phonics and phonemic awareness, vocabulary development, fluency, and comprehension.

Preschool Parent Workshops to Go

It's 3 p.m. and you have a parent workshop scheduled for seven and there's been no time to plan! Do you have a home visit tomorrow with no ideas? Based on the findings of the National Early Literacy Panel, this training provides participants with six workshops they can use with families as stand-alone presentations or in a continuing series. The topics cover the underlying building blocks of literacy development and stress ways parents can integrate language and literacy into their children's daily lives through traditional family routines.


English Language Learners

Talking About Wordless Picture Books: A Tutor Strategy Supporting English Language Learners

Discover a program that builds confidence for teachers, tutors, parents and children while taking English language learning beyond the classroom and across generations. Talking About Wordless Picture Books explores research-based program tools to support the needs of families who are learning English. This session is appropriate for adult educators, ELL or ESL instructors, family literacy administrators and teachers, tutors and parents.

Developing the Speaking and Listening Domains in Multi-Level, Multi-Language Classrooms

This training engages participants in an introduction to differentiated instruction as it applies to diverse ESL classrooms. Participants will learn research-based strategies for instruction in both the speaking and listening domains. Instructors will apply the strategies they learn to create a lesson for each of the domains that will align across the NRS levels.

Families Reading and Talking Together (Bilingual Resource)

This training is designed to encourage reading and literacy activities in the homes of Hispanic/Latino ELL families with preschool children. The train-the trainer format will help staff be prepared to provide three workshops to parents on parent-child interactive literacy practices.


How can you take advantage of NCFL's expertise and research? Contact Emily Sedgwick by email [ESedgwick@familieslearning.org] or call 502-584-1133, ext. 207 for more information about training today.