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Webinar on Nov. 27

Join NCFL to hear findings from a four-year family literacy evaluation. 

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U.S. Department of Education taps NCFL to lead SFECs

NCFL will establish and lead the Statewide Family Engagement Center in North Carolina, and will continue its leadership of the Nebraska SFEC.

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Celebrate National Family Literacy Month

NCFL offers a variety of free resources families can use to help make literacy and learning a part of your daily routine.

Explore resources
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California teacher’s family engagement efforts earn national honor

Sergio de Alba of Los Banos, California is the 2023 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year!

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NCFL's newest brief on family literacy

Read an overview of the four-component family literacy model, the research that supports it, and how NCFL puts it into practice.

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NCFL publishes new brief on Family Leadership

Learn more about family leadership and the ways communities across the country are putting NCFL’s models into practice.

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Families as Partners in Learning

NCFL releases brief on our family engagement approach, implementation models, and the work still to be done across the country.

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NCFL launches bold new vision for equity

We're seeking partners to build equitable communities.

Read our press release Join our campaign

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 Nov 20, 2023
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Integrating Digital Literacy into Family Literacy Programming

Editor’s note: In celebration of National Family Literacy Month®, NCFL Director of Family Literacy, Dr. Anna Kaiper-Marquez, joined with World Education Director of Digital Learning and Research, ... Read more»

Blog Nov 17, 2023
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NCFL to host webinar on findings from a four-year family literacy evaluation

Join NCFL, the William Penn Foundation, and the Goodling Institute at Penn State on Monday, November 27 at 3 p.m. ET for a discussion on the findings from a four-year family literacy ... Read more»

Blog Nov 15, 2023
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Unlocking Success: The Parent-Teacher Partnership that Powers Progress

Editor’s Note: In celebration of Kentucky Family Engagement Week, NCFL invited 2020 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year Leila Kubesch to share her perspective on the importance of the teacher/parent ... Read more»

News Nov 15, 2023

Minnesota teacher Artika Tyner named runner-up for national award (CBS)

In this newscast (aired Nov. 13, 2023), 2023 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year runner-up, Dr. Artika Tyner, discusses her work in family literacy. Read more»

News Nov 14, 2023

Prichard Committee kicks off Family Engagement in Education Week, recognizes ‘family-friendly’ schools

The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence celebrated the kickoff of Family Engagement in Education Week Monday at the Capitol Rotunda with a proclamation signed by the governor. Representatives from 52 schools and early learning centers across Kentucky were present to be recognized for being family-friendly certified. Read more»

News Nov 13, 2023

Joint Letter Opposing HR 5894 the FY24 House Labor-HHS-Ed Appropriations Bill

Dear Member of Congress: The 54 undersigned education, civil rights, immigration, and other advocacy organizations write to oppose H.R. 5894, the House FY24 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. The bill would cut funding for the Department of Education by 29% Read more»

News Oct 30, 2023

AP News Coverage: 2023 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year

The National Center for Families Learning and Toyota award $25,000 to two educators for their success at engaging families in the classroom. Read more»

News Oct 25, 2023

California teacher’s family engagement efforts earn national honor

LOUISVILLE, KY (OCTOBER 25, 2023) – Sergio de Alba of Los Banos, California has long recognized the power of family engagement to create stronger families and stronger communities. For twenty-two years, he’s been committed to helping families in his rural farming community build deeper connections with their school and to creating an environment where all cultures, needs, and backgrounds are embraced. His success in this effort earned him the title of 2023 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year, a national designation that recognizes outstanding educators who are exceptional in engaging families in learning.

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News Oct 12, 2023

Toyota will spend millions in Fayette, Scott schools for new STEM programs. Here’s the plan

(July 24, 2023) Toyota USA Foundation on Monday announced grants of up to $5.7 million to prepare students in Scott County, Fayette County and Northern Kentucky for science, technology, engineering and math careers. The program, Driving Possibilities, focuses on PreK-12 education to ensure students have better access to careers, including opportunities in the auto industry. Read more»

News Oct 11, 2023

Biden-Harris Administration Announces More Than $11 Million to Expand and Support Parent Education and Family Engagement Efforts

(Oct. 11, 2023) Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing $11.4 million in grants to 12 organizations in states and school districts across the country to improve and strengthen family engagement programs. This investment builds on the U.S. Department of Education’s (Department) “Raising the Bar for Parent Partnership in Our Schools” efforts to engage parents, family members, caregivers, or advocates. To date, the current program has awarded nearly $83 million to expand and support parent and family engagement. Read more»

News Oct 10, 2023

Prichard Committee celebrates 40th anniversary with awards, election of board including two NKyians

The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence celebrated its 40th anniversary at its 2023 Annual Meeting and laid out visions for the future of education in Kentucky. Three organizations, Learning Grove, National Center for Families Learning, and Partners for Rural Impact, were also recognized for their role in enriching education and family engagement. Read more»

News Oct 5, 2023

NCFL to lead Statewide Family Engagement Centers in North Carolina and Nebraska

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Oct. 5, 2023) — The U.S. Department of Education has selected the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) to establish and lead the new North Carolina Statewide Family Engagement Center (NC SFEC) and to continue its leadership of the Nebraska Statewide Family Engagement Center (NE SFEC). In each state, NCFL will work alongside a consortium of state and local organizations to provide an equitable, coordinated continuum of family engagement support designed to build the capacity of families, schools, and communities and improve student and family well-being.

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News Aug 23, 2023

Thorn Hill, fiscal court, FCS, FIS join forces for new initiative

It might not be surprising to learn that when families take an active role in a child’s education, the child will thrive and perform more effectively. But when families and children focus on learning together, the benefits grow exponentially. That is where a new partnership between the Thorn Hill Education Center, the Louisville-based National Center for Family Learning (NCFL), Franklin County Fiscal Court and both the Franklin County and Frankfort Independent School districts, the “60x30” Family Learning Community initiative, seeks to make its mark. Read more»

News Aug 8, 2023

NCFL President and CEO discusses ways to combat summer learning loss on Kentucky Edition (KET)

In this newscast, aired June 16, 2023, Christie Dutton with KET's Kentucky Edition interviews NCFL President and CEO, Dr. Felicia C. Smith about stopping summer learning loss by engaging children in learning outside of the classroom. Read more»

News Jul 27, 2023

Metro Government awards $4.6 million to organizations for early childhood development

On Tuesday, eight Louisville nonprofits were awarded American Rescue Plan funding to help advance early childhood development. Louisville mayor Craig Greenberg said $4.6 million in ARP funds was awarded by Metro Government for the Americana Community Center, the de Paul School Kemper Academy for Teaching and Learning, Family and Children’s Place, Imagination Library of Louisville, Metro United Way, National Center for Families Learning, Waterfront Development Corporation and the YMCA of Greater Louisville. Read more»

News Jul 27, 2023

'Early Learning Action Group' aims to make preschool more accessible to kids in Louisville

There's a new effort to make learning more accessible to three and four-year-olds across Louisville. On Tuesday, Mayor Craig Greenberg appointed an "Early Learning Action Group" to come up with a plan to make one of his biggest campaign promises happen. The 21 leaders in the group have backgrounds in education, government, workforce development, and nonprofits. They will meet every other week over the next six months to discuss how to expand access to preschool and other early learning programs. Read more»

News Jul 18, 2023

Legacy in Action: National Center for Families Learning awards three winners in Sharon Darling Innovation Fund Family Learning System Challenge

LOUISVILLE, Ky., (July 18, 2023) – STEM lessons from a telenovela. An alumni network that builds on preschool family learning achievements once children reach kindergarten. A playbook for teaching parents how to play with their children. These three distinct programs topped more than 360 applicants for the Sharon Darling Innovation Fund Family Learning System Challenge, from National Center for Families Learning. The winning organizations – Literacy Partners of New York, Bright Beginnings in Washington, D.C., and Oregon State University – will each receive $30,000 to implement their project.

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News Mar 29, 2023

Perspective | Early childhood development through reading aloud

National Read Aloud Month occurs annually in March. The majority of young children’s brains are formed in their early years, and experiences that center around nurturing from a caregiver help support this healthy development. Read more»

News Mar 10, 2023

Empowering Minds: 9 Best Literacy Charities Worldwide (Full List with Details)

Literacy is a fundamental skill that empowers individuals to succeed in life. Unfortunately, millions worldwide lack basic literacy skills, hindering their access to education and job opportunities. Read more»

News Jan 31, 2023

National nonprofit launches bold new vision for equity

The National Center for Families Learning is seeking partners to build equitable communities and is offering mini-grants to seed innovative approaches to co-designing family learning systems. LOUISVILLE, Ky. – (January 30, 2023) When the world shut down in the spring of 2020, Katlyn Rivera, a single mother living in Yuma, Arizona, lost her job and took on the role of teacher for her children.

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News Jan 17, 2023

What role should parents play in schools? Five Colorado districts are teaming up to include them.

The pandemic changed the way parents are involved in their kids’ education. A new family engagement center shared by five districts will better incorporate their input into schools. Read more»

News Dec 13, 2022

Summit on Adult Literacy Convenes Multisector Group of Leaders at Sunnylands

Washington, D.C. – December 13, 2022 – Last month, representatives from the corporate, philanthropic, government and education sectors convened at the historic Sunnylands estate in Rancho Mirage, California for a Summit on Adult Literacy. Read more»

News Dec 2, 2022

Students and teachers across the country receive a special delivery from Toyota

NEW YORK (December 2, 2022) – Long-time partners NCFL and Toyota are teaming up with Kids In Need Foundation to donate school supplies to five under-resourced school districts nationwide, impacting more than 15,000 students.

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News Dec 1, 2022

Toyota Spreads Kindness and Joy This Holiday Season

PLANO, Texas (Dec. 1, 2022) – With the holidays upon us, Toyota is celebrating the joy of the season with a special message about spreading kindness. “Like No One’s Watching,” the first of two Toyota holiday ads, debuted last night during NBC’s primetime special, “Christmas in Rockefeller Center,” with a personalized throw from a show host. Read more»

News Nov 17, 2022

Service-learning model for families receives Congressional Resolution

WASHINGTON (November 17, 2022) – Creating a community garden; making the route to school safer for pedestrians; organizing donation drives to benefit elderly community members—the common thread that is woven throughout these projects is that they were all carried out by families using a service-learning model developed by the National Center for Families Learning.

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News Nov 11, 2022

Ms. Selcer Honored for Dedication to Families

Sit down for a conversation with Dae Selcer and right away you’ll sense her enthusiasm and passion for her work. Selcer is a multilingual learner teacher and program coordinator at Prodeo Elementary Academy in Columbia Heights, Minnesota. Described by her colleagues as a “stalwart advocate for multilingual learners and their families,” Selcer is committed to creating an accessible and inclusive classroom that is co-designed in partnership with families. Read more»

News Oct 25, 2022

Arizona educator receives national honor for her family engagement efforts

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (October 26, 2022) – Ivonne Ortiz of Mesa, Arizona, knows the power of positive thinking when it comes to achieving goals. She is a cheerleader for the students in her family literacy program, helping them to build confidence in themselves and to realize their educational and career goals. Her ability to work with students to turn their aspirations and dreams into action helped earn her the title of 2022 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year, a national designation that recognizes outstanding educators who are exceptional in engaging families in learning.

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News Sep 28, 2022

National family education nonprofit announces research advisory council

National Center for Families Learning convenes researchers from prominent organizations to inform family learning evaluation, practices, and policy context

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News Sep 23, 2022

Federal grant will expand Colorado family engagement in schools

When Luis Murillo started leading parent academies as a principal in Center, he prepared presentations on how school boards work and where school funding comes from — the things he thought parents needed to know. Read more»

News Sep 15, 2022

Department Awards Over $7 Million to Eight Organizations to Highlight Parent Voices and Support Families Informing Student Development and Academic Recovery

Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced awards totaling over $7 million to eight statewide organizations under the 2022 Competitive Grants for the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFEC) program, underscoring the Biden-Harris Administration's ongoing efforts to enhance and increase parent and family engagement in local education. As the 2022-23 school year begins, and to help drive academic recovery, the Department is redoubling its commitment to providing states and communities with additional resources to support student learning and parental and family engagement. Read more»

News Sep 13, 2022

Statewide Family Engagement Center to launch in Colorado

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The U.S. Department of Education has selected the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) to create and lead the Colorado Statewide Family Engagement Center (CO SFEC). In partnership with Colorado Education Initiative (CEI), the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), the Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition (CSPC), and the Black Parent Network (BPN), the CO SFEC will build the capacity of families, schools, and communities to address learning recovery and related impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as implement practices and systems to improve student development and family well-being.

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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, 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