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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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Join Our Team

NCFL is adding to our team of literacy experts.

SEE OPENINGS
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November 4-6, 2019

Our Conference is coming to Louisville, Kentucky! Registration opens early 2019. Sign up to receive email updates.

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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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TIAA Difference Maker 100 Honoree

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

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NCFL wins Library of Congress award

NCFL is a proud recipient of the American Prize of the Library of Congress Literacy Awards 2017.

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Learn to Earn

A free online resource for intermediate and advanced adult learners of English and basic skills.

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National Literacy Directory

Designed to help individuals find local literacy and education programs and GED testing centers.

Find or Add Your Program Today!

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.

Help us inspire & engage Families

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Join Our Cause

Our Reach

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

Huntsville, AL (2015)

Shelby County, AL (2003)

Little Rock, AK (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

90%

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

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

95%

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

Our History


Blog & News

Blog Nov 1, 2018

Celebrate families with National Family Literacy Day and Month

Long before #2Gen became a recognized hashtag on social media, programs across the United States were quietly educating parents and children together. Some political and educational leaders, ... Read more»

Blog Oct 24, 2018

Word up: new initiative aims to give low-income children better chance at academic success by closing word gap

Half of Jefferson County, Kentucky, children lack the basic skills and knowledge to begin kindergarten. The PNC Foundation, National Center for Families Learning (NCFL), Metro United Way’s Ready ... Read more»

Blog Oct 23, 2018

$1,000 grant opportunity available now from the National Literacy Directory

In honor of National Family Literacy Month in November, the National Literacy Directory (NLD)'s latest $1,000 Innovation Grant seeks to recognize and support programs with innovative solutions ... Read more»

Blog Oct 9, 2018

New statewide centers to focus on student achievement gap

Across the U.S., there’s a gap between the academic achievement of students living in poverty and those who have never lived in poverty. The latest Nation’s Report Card (2017 National Assessment ... Read more»

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 Sep 18, 2017

National Center for Families Learning awarded Library of Congress American Prize for Literacy

“It is an honor for the National Center for Families Learning to be recognized by the Library of Congress among many outstanding organizations,” Darling said. “Every day across the country parents are experiencing hope and optimism for their futures because they are gaining valuable literacy and employability skills that empower them to contribute to their communities and achieve economic self-sufficiency through the NCFL Family Learning model. Children are seeing their parents work hard and reap the benefits. NCFL is seeing families lift themselves out of poverty, breaking a long-standing cycle. This award represents our efforts but the honor belongs to the millions of families who have taken ownership to improve their own lives over the past 28 years.”

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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

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 and NCFL

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.

PNC Grow Up Great

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.

Better World Books

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