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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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We the Family Podcast

Families have the power to transform communities. Hear from powerful families leading the way towards justice in education, health care, government, and more.

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NCFL’s Wonderopolis® partners with Canva to provide learning tools

Since 2010, Wonderopolis.org has provided free, engaging learning content to millions of learners around the world. Now, our new partnership with Canva, an online design and publishing tool, is taking learning comprehension to an exciting level.

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SFEC Network resource website

The SFEC Network fosters the sharing of best practices and other forms of collaboration between the SFECs while showcasing its resources and results to stakeholders across the country. 

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Did you know?

Thanks to Microsoft Immersive Reader, NCFL's Wonderopolis is more accessible with tools like language translation, text-to-speech, a picture dictionary, and more!

Try It Out

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 Jan 12, 2022
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At the Heart of Family Learning: Introducing Dr. Felicia C. Smith’s monthly column

Greetings to NCFL’s national community of families, practitioners, and supporters. As NCFL embarks on a new era of leadership, I am excited to launch my monthly blog series, At the Heart of Family ... Read more»

Blog Dec 20, 2021
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NCFL publishes two new resources for educators and program staff

NCFL has published two free resources for those working with families in family literacy, learning, and engagement settings. Our Recruitment & Retention Toolkit supports program staff throughout ... Read more»

Blog Dec 17, 2021
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NCFL supports families in Kentucky and surrounding states experiencing adversity

Over the past week, we’ve witnessed the devastation caused by the horrific storms that occurred December 10th in our home state of Kentucky and in surrounding states. Like so many, we feel shocked ... Read more»

Blog Dec 16, 2021
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NCFL’s Wonderopolis® partners with Canva to provide learning tools

Since 2010, Wonderopolis.org has provided free, engaging learning content to millions of learners around the world. Created by the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL), the site offers ... Read more»

News Dec 2, 2021

The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) and Toyota support literacy through nationwide book distribution

The effort will distribute more than 85,000 books to 2,000 families nationwide and was highlighted during NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” tree-lighting special December 1

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News Dec 2, 2021

Toyota’s Holiday Message Highlights Giving Through a Tender Community Tale

The first Toyota ad of the holiday season is less about the brand’s autos and more a tale of a community coming together to resurrect a beloved store. Read more»

News Nov 17, 2021

How dynamic, innovative learning systems benefit Kentucky families and communities

The United States public education system, including right here in Kentucky, is beginning to fully understand the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on student learning outcomes. Read more»

News Nov 1, 2021

Congress promotes National Center for Families Learning’s Family Service Learning initiative

Innovative family-centric programming designed to enable families to address community challenges continues to receive Congressional recognition. Family Service Learning, a framework that facilitates family-generated community service projects, was recognized today by Representatives John Yarmuth (D-KY) and Van Taylor (R-TX) and Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Cory Booker (D-NJ). A Congressional resolution introduced this week designates the week of November 1-5, 2021 as “National Family Service Learning Week.”

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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