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Free resources for educators

Check out free resources from NCFL including guides for learning outside of school and recruitment and retention.

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NCFL's 2021 Annual Report published

Read about the ways in which we worked towards accomplishing our mission in 2021.

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NCFL’s new project engages students and families in wonder, immersive learning, and service

The Carnegie Corporation of New York has selected NCFL as one of only ten organizations to receive a Family Engagement to Improve Student Learning grant.

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NCFL brings families and practitioners together for early childhood advocacy

This program follows the Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships to develop inclusive and equitable early childhood programs.

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At the Heart of Family Learning with Dr. Smith

In this monthly blog series, Dr. Felicia Cumings Smith explores ways in which NCFL is working alongside families and practitioners to provide quality, rich, and meaningful learning experiences that focus on the needs of adults and their children.

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NCFL works to eradicate poverty through education solutions for families.

Over our 32-year history, we have worked with families and communities to provide literacy strategies, programming, and resources. Engaging multiple generations in learning together is a fundamental and distinguishing aspect of our work, because we know this holistic approach creates a stronger impact and greater success for families.

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Join Our Cause

Our Reach

150 communities • 39 States + Washington DC • 4.5 million+ parents and children

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Huntsville, AL (2015)

Shelby County, AL (2003)

Little Rock, AR (1991)

Springdale, AR (2003)

Kayenta, AZ (2008)

Teec Nos Pos, AZ (1994)

Pinon, AZ (2001)

Many Farms, AZ (1993)

Chinle, AZ (1993)

Ganado, AZ (2010)

Winslow, AZ (1992)

Laveen, AZ (2001)

White River, AZ (2005)

Coolidge, AZ (1993)

Scottsdale, AZ (2001)

Mesa, AZ (2003)

Bapchule, AZ (2007)

Tucson, AZ (1991)

Fremont, CA (2003)

Oakland, CA (2003)

San Mateo, CA (2014)

Santa Clara, CA (2006)

Patterson, CA (2003)

Santa Paula, CA (2003)

Ontario, CA (1991)

Long Beach, CA (1991)

Los Angeles, CA (1991)

San Pedro, CA (2013)

Chula Vista, CA (2003)

Denver, CO (1991)

Aurora, CO (1998)

Pueblo, CO (2003)

Washington, DC (1991)

Orlando, FL (2000)

Ft. Lauderdale, FL (1991)

Miami, FL (2003)

Atlanta, GA (1991)

Tama, IA (1993)

Chicago, IL (1991)

Evansville, IN (1998)

Wichita, KS (2003)

Louisville, KY (1998)

Lexington, KY (1991)

New Orleans, LA (1991)

Chelsea, MA (2003)

Detroit, MI (2003)

Flint, MI (2015)

Wilson, MI (1992)

Cloquet, MN (1990)

St. Louis, MO (1991)

Conehatta, MS (1990)

Tupelo, MS (2016)

Choctaw, MS (2004)

Winston-Salem, NC (2003)

Greensboro, NC (2016)

Dunseith, ND (2001)

Bismarck, ND (2007)

Fort Totten, ND (2005)

Lincoln, NE (2013)

Gallup, NM (2010)

Alamo, NM (1993)

Bloomfield, NM (2006)

Corrales, NM (2001)

Crownpoint, NM (1993)

Cuba, NM (1990)

Espanola, NM

Fruitland, NM (2001)

Ft. Wingate, NM (1992)

Laguna, NM (1990)

Las Cruces, NM (2003)

Mescalero, NM (2003)

Newcomb, NM (1993)

Pine Hill, NM (1994)

Prewitt, NM (2008)

Pueblo of Acoma, NM (2017)

Shiprock, NM (1993)

Tohatchi, NM (1992)

Vanderwagen, NM (1992)

Las Vegas, NV (2003)

New York, NY (2003)

Bronx, NY (2013)

Rochester, NY (1991)

Cinncinati, OH (1991)

Portland, OR (2016)

Pittsburgh, PA (1991)

Providence, RI (2003)

Waubay, SD (2001)

Sisseton, SD (2003)

Howes, SD (1990)

Kyle, SD (2001)

Allen, SD (2008)

Pine Ridge, SD (2009)

St. Francis, SD (2003)

Nashville, TN (1991)

Memphis, TN (2003)

Houston, TX (1998)

San Antonio, TX (2003)

Dallas, TX (1991)

Plano, TX (2015)

Salt Lake City, UT (2003)

Montezuma Creek, UT (2013)

Viola, WI (1993)

Oneida, WI (2003)

Hayward, WI (1993)

Milwaukee, WI (2014)

Charleston, WV (1998)

Richmond, VA (1991)

The year listed represents the beginning of NCFL’s partnership in the community.

Our Impact

Our History


Blog & News

Blog Apr 28, 2022
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NCFL authors chapter in new community literacy guidebook

NCFL is pleased to have contributed content for “A Field Guide to Community Literacy: Case Studies and Tools for Praxis, Evaluation, and Research” edited by Laurie A. Henry and Norman A. Stahl. ... Read more»

Blog Apr 20, 2022
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At the Heart of Family Learning: Promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion through family leadership

Greetings to our community members! Past blog posts of my monthly column have focused on defining a Family Learning System and how building coordinated and aligned systems of family literacy, family ... Read more»

Blog Apr 18, 2022
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The Families Learning Conference returns this fall with a new twist

Mark your calendar for the 2022 Families Learning Conference! This year, we’re shaking things up by holding a two-day virtual conference on October 25 and 26, and then hosting two optional ... Read more»

Blog Apr 1, 2022
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Nominations now accepted for the 2022 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year

The search is on for the next Toyota Family Teacher of the Year! For 26 years, the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) and Toyota have partnered to recognize school- and community-based ... Read more»

News Apr 12, 2022

New Partnership with NCFL Producing Testimony-based Educational Offerings to Support Family Literacy Skills

Modern day Kentucky and WWII-era Austria may seem worlds apart, but the far-flung locales and distant timeframes came together last month at a series of educational workshops at the Iroquois Branch Library in south Louisville. Read more»

News Apr 1, 2022

Finding the words

Collective action to address low literacy can uplift families and communities—and change lives for generations. Read more»

News Mar 8, 2022

NCFL’s new project engages JCPS students and families in wonder, immersive learning, and service

LOUISVILLE, KY (March 8, 2022) – What happens when we combine inquiry-based science education, virtual reality, and family engagement? Students and their families at several Louisville, Kentucky schools will find out soon. The Carnegie Corporation of New York has selected the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) as one of only ten organizations to receive a Family Engagement to Improve Student Learning grant.

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News Mar 2, 2022

We all agree literacy is critical. But little attention is paid to literacy in adults

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Reading is the key. Reading is fundamental. Take a look – it’s in a book. This is what we drill into children’s minds: that learning to read is extremely important to their future success. But we don’t put that same urgency on adults, even though fewer than half in America can read above a 6th-grade level. Read more»

News Feb 6, 2022

Connections | Felicia C. Smith - National Center for Families Learning

Renee Shaw talks with educator Dr. Felicia C. Smith, president of the National Center for Families Learning, about getting government, families and organizations mobilized in delivering a high-quality education to kids. Read more»

News Jan 16, 2022

14 Organizations That Help Kids In The US

Sometimes children need help. Whether it's books to read or critical medical care, these 14 organizations help kids across the United States. Read more»

News Apr 26, 2021

National Center for Families Learning launches search for new President as Founder announces plans to retire

A national search launched today to select a new president for the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL). The organization’s founder and current president, Sharon Darling, will retire later this year.

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News Oct 26, 2020

Cincinnati educator named national Family Teacher of the Year

Once a child raised in poverty in North Africa, Leila Kubesch arrived in America seeking solutions for families in need. She has fulfilled this mission and more, demonstrating an extraordinary capacity to impact the lives of families through her work.

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News Oct 26, 2020

St. Louis educator named national Family Teacher of the Year runner-up

As a certified adult educator, licensed clinical social worker, public policy advocate, and certified doula, Aminah Williams positively impacts families throughout the spectrum of life.

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News Sep 22, 2020

U.S. Senate promotes family service initiative in wake of COVID-19

WASHINGTON, DC (September 22, 2020) – Innovative family-centric programming designed to enable communities to fight COVID-19 challenges has once again received support from the United States Senate.

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NCFL Partners

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Toyota

Toyota, one of the nation's most successful corporations, began a partnership with NCFL in 1991. In addition to a commitment of more than $50 million, Toyota has also contributed a wealth of in-kind support — including advertising, planning and management expertise — to form one of the most progressive corporate/nonprofit partnerships in the nation.

Three major programs have been developed through the Toyota partnership based on the family literacy model of parents and children learning together. These models have influenced federal and state legislation, leveraged local dollars to support family literacy and led to successful programs being replicated across the country.

Read more about Toyota's commitment to communities

William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust

NCFL received its very first donation in 1989 from the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust to promote and implement family literacy programming, first in Kentucky and North Carolina and later nationwide. The Kenan Family Literacy Model in part laid the groundwork for 30 years of subsequent family literacy and family learning programming developed by NCFL.

Kenan has continued to support NCFL’s place-based family literacy programs since our inception. Most recently, it has invested in our organization’s Sharon Darling Innovation Fund, which will launch emerging ideas and programmatic evolutions in the multigenerational learning space.

Learn more about the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust

Dollar General Literacy Foundation

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation began partnering with NCFL in 2006. A signature effort of this partnership is the National Literacy Directory, a resource that launched in 2010 and strives to guide potential students and volunteers to literacy services, community education programs, and testing centers in their communities.

The National Literacy Directory contains over 10,000 educational agencies located across the United States and has a dedicated toll-free number to help support those wanting to pursue educational opportunities in their communities.

Dollar General also provides support for development of NCFL’s innovative family learning resources centered on financial literacy and Parent and Child Together (PACT) Time®.

Learn more about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation

PNC Grow Up Great

PNC Grow Up Great believes deeply in the power of high-quality early childhood education and provides innovative opportunities that assist families, educators and community organizations to enhance children's learning and development.

PNC Grow Up Great has partnered with NCFL since 1994, most recently in Louisville, Kentucky, to support Say & Play with Words, our pre-Kindergarten vocabulary-building initiative.

NCFL's work is also featured on the PNC Grow Up Great Lesson Center website. The Lesson Center includes over 100 free, high-quality preschool lesson plans and research-based instructional techniques and strategies. All lesson plans contain Home/School Connections printouts, in English and Spanish, to help families extend and reinforce the learning at home.

Learn more about PNC Grow Up Great

U.S. Department of Education

Initiated through the U.S. Department of Education in 2018, the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFEC) program provides 12 grantees and 13 states with five-year, $5 million grants to promote and implement systemic evidenced-based family engagement strategies. NCFL was selected to lead SFECs in two states, Arizona and Nebraska, and is a primary partner for two other SFECs in Kentucky and Maryland/Pennsylvania. 

The SFECs work to support family engagement through state- and local-level agencies while providing both professional development to school districts and direct services to families related to children’s academic outcomes and overall well-being.

Learn more about the U.S. Department of Education

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

NCFL was named a recipient of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s "Voices for Economic Opportunity Grand Challenge," which seeks to elevate diverse voices in order to broaden the conversation about the issues inhibiting economic mobility and generate deeper awareness along with actionable understanding. NCFL will develop and launch a podcast series that will highlight the remarkable stories of low-income, diverse families across the U.S. who have improved their communities through Family Service Learning.

Foundation Website