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30 Years of Empowering Families

NCFL is excited to celebrate three decades of providing education solutions to help families break the cycle of generational poverty.

Watch the Video Announcement
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November 4-6, 2019

Our Conference is coming to Louisville, Kentucky! Registration is now open.

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Vocabulary Initiative

Say & Play with Words will target at-risk children in Louisville neighborhoods, with a goal of shrinking the word gap and increasing kindergarten readiness.

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SFEC Grants

NCFL has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education to develop Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFEC).

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Join Our Team

NCFL is adding to our team of literacy experts.

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TIAA Difference Maker 100 Honoree

NCFL is proud to share in TIAA's $1 million donation to nonprofit organizations.


NCFL works to eradicate poverty through education solutions for families.

Over our 30-year history, we have changed the lives of millions of families by providing 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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Help us inspire & engage Families

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Join Our Cause

Our Reach

140 communities • 38 States + Washington DC • 2 million+ families

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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


Family Engagement: 90% of families participating in NCFL Family Learning show an increase in family engagement in education.

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Children with parents in family literacy programming were more than two times as likely to have an attendance rate of 90%.


Adult Skill Building: Parents who participate in NCFL Family Service Learning practice 40 of 42 critical employability skills.

Our History

Blog & News

Blog Mar 15, 2019
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NCFL receives $1 million from Toyota to initiate Washington, DC, Alabama family literacy programming

The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) has received a $1 million donation from the Toyota Motor Corporation to help break the generational cycle of poverty through family literacy in ... Read more»

Blog Mar 13, 2019
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A Look Back in History: NCFL partners with the Bureau of Indian Education in 1990

Note: Incorporated as a 501c3 organization in 1989, the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) celebrates its 30th anniversary of working to eradicate poverty through education solutions ... Read more»

Blog Mar 7, 2019
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Expand your knowledge and network at the 2019 Families Learning Conference

Registration is now open for the 2019 Families Learning Conference, which will be held in Louisville, Kentucky Nov. 4-6! The Families Learning Conference aims to equip educators, program staff, ... Read more»

News Mar 29, 2019

Building Groundswell of Support for Education by Engaging Parents, Communities Focus of New Campaign

CARROLLTON, Ky. – A statewide campaign to engage families and communities in effective and sustainable efforts to improve schools and student achievement was launched Friday (March 29, 2019) by the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.

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News Mar 13, 2019

Toyota’s support of family literacy in America reaches $50 million

To help celebrate the 30th anniversary of the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL), Toyota is donating $1 million to help break generational cycles of poverty through family literacy in the nation’s capital and northern Alabama. Read more»

News Jan 17, 2019

Nebraska receives funding to improve family engagement for student success

The Nebraska Department of Education, in partnership with the National Center for Families Learning, the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, and Unite for Literacy, will receive a five-year, $4.6 million grant to develop model Statewide Family Engagement Centers across Nebraska. Read more»

News Nov 20, 2018

The National Center for Families Learning Applauds Congressional Resolution

Two-generation Family Service Learning model is highlighted for its results.

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News Oct 9, 2018

New statewide centers to focus on student achievement gap

NCFL to lead creation of centers in Nebraska and Arizona.

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News Apr 18, 2018

National Center for Families Learning honors the memory of Barbara Bush

NCFL President and Founder, Sharon Darling honors her friend and mentor in family literacy.

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News Apr 12, 2018

National Book Foundation

The Book Rich Environments (BRE) initiative, now in its second year, aims to combat lack of literary access, often termed “book deserts,” by connecting communities with resources that help foster life-long, joyful relationships between readers and books. Read more»

News Sep 26, 2017

Senator Rand Paul joins conversation about two-generation learning

Two-generation family literacy programming lifts parents and children to find greater success academically and economically. That's the message Sen. Rand Paul heard from the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) Founder Sharon Darling, program participants and partners at a round table discussion in Louisville this morning.

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News Jun 13, 2017

WTVQ-TV (ABC, Lexington)

Eric Burke and John Macleod talked about combating summer learning loss and how it has gotten a bit easier because of free online summer programs at Camp Wonderopolis. Read more»

News Sep 19, 2016

United States Senators Cornyn and Booker Introduce Family Service Learning Resolution

U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), along with Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) introduced a resolution recognizing the importance of Family Service Learning and designating the week of September 12 through 16, 2016 as National Family Service Week. “When we invest in families, the entire community benefits and grows,” said Sen. Cornyn. “Family Service Learning opens up new opportunities that will empower parents and children alike to benefit from the gift of education and the opportunity of community involvement.”

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NCFL Partners

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Toyota Family Learning Program

Toyota, one of the nation's most successful corporations, began a partnership with NCFL in 1991. In addition to a commitment of more than $35 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

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 reach the 35.7 million adults ages 18-64 who do not have a high school diploma by guiding them to better-paying, more stable jobs.

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®.

Go to Dollar General Literacy Foundation's website

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 to advance early literacy and learning resources for vulnerable families. Current efforts supported by PNC include a collaborative initiative in two at-risk Detroit communities that engages families to support vocabulary development for children under age 5.

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.

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W.K. Kellogg Foundation

NCFL has partnered with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation since January 2016. The Foundation is currently supporting a dynamic two-generation family engagement initiative that expands NCFL's Family Learning model into select Head Start programs nationwide. NCFL's model presents an innovative way to support Head Start programs in meeting outcomes aligned with the Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework.

Visit the Foundation website

Better World Books

Better World Books selected NCFL as its domestic literacy partner in 2005 and has raised more than $1 million to support NCFL’s work and donated more than $15 million to support literacy and education efforts worldwide. Better World Books is a triple-bottom-line online bookstore, working equally for people, planet and profit. Each book purchased powers literacy across the world.

Better World Books’ support of NCFL has provided books and workshops to families after Hurricane Katrina, donated large book donations to literacy programs and families nationwide and fueled innovative family literacy and learning programs and resources in libraries, schools and community-based organizations. In addition to their work for literacy and education, Better World Books diverts books from landfills and offers carbon-balanced shipping.

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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

In 2013, NCFL began a partnership with the Gates Foundation to ensure that our network of students, teachers, and families thrive among recent shifts in standards-based education. NCFL will leverage the unique strengths of our award-winning Wonderopolis® platform to build upon the growing teacher network that uses the resource for core daily instruction and as a basis for professional growth.

Foundation Website

Goodling Institute

NCFL has partnered with the Goodling Institute for Research and Family Literacy at Penn State University since 2001, working collaboratively to further research, professional development, and policy efforts for family literacy and intergenerational learning.

The work of this partnership includes, but is not limited to, a strong research strand at NCFL's national annual convening, the Families Learning Summit; advocacy for family literacy and learning to further support for and inclusion of family-focused education in new and ongoing legislation; and dissemination of the latest research, resources, information, and professional development opportunities for literacy and learning practitioners and advocates, including the Certificate in Family Literacy provided by the Goodling Institute.

Goodling Institute for Research and Family Literacy at Penn State University