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NCFL launches bold new vision for equity

We're seeking partners to build equitable communities and offering mini-grants to seed innovative approaches.

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NCFL supports the families and community of Monterey Park, California

NCFL’s thoughts are with the community of Monterey Park, Calif., and the broader Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

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Equity in Family Engagement Toolkit

Access tools and strategies that promote equity and inclusion in classrooms and schools.

Download toolkit
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Join us in Omaha for the 2023 Families Learning Conference!

The 2023 Families Learning Conference heads to the Cornhusker State October 23-25.

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Arizona educator receives national honor for her family engagement efforts

Ivonne Ortiz of Mesa Public Schools is the 2022 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year!

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Service-learning model for families receives Congressional Resolution

NCFL applauds Congress’ recognition of Family Service Learning

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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 Jan 31, 2023
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NCFL launches bold new vision for equity

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. The family endured isolation and ... Read more»

Blog Jan 25, 2023
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The Heart of Family Learning: Driving positive change in communities through policy

Hello and happy new year! After taking a much-needed rest at the end of December, here at NCFL, we’ve hit the ground running in 2023! The turn of the year brings renewed hopes and dreams for ... Read more»

Blog Jan 20, 2023
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Upcoming webinar focuses on countering antisemitism with learning resources from USC Shoah Foundation and Wonderopolis®

Throughout the last year, NCFL has collaborated with USC Shoah Foundation to help introduce the Institute’s resources to our community of learners through Wonderopolis®, NCFL’s digital learning ... Read more»

Blog Dec 19, 2022
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Join NCFL for a webinar on fostering heart and heritage languages in the home

Linguistically diverse families are often equipped with extraordinary language skills that allow them to navigate multiple spaces, code-switch based on their environments, and access wealth-building ... Read more»

Blog Dec 16, 2022
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At the Heart of Family Learning: A year in review

Greetings to our community of families, practitioners, friends, and advocates. As 2022 comes to a close, I am reflecting on my travels across the country to meet with community partners and see ... Read more»

Blog Dec 12, 2022
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A brand-new National Literacy Directory!

The National Literacy Directory (NLD) has a brand-new look! Since 2010, the NLD has helped connect more than 50,000 potential students and volunteers to literacy services, community education ... Read more»

Blog Dec 8, 2022
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Conference roundup! Highlights from the 2022 Families Learning Conference

Spanning three months and three different programs, the 2022 Families Learning Conference tripled the learning as attendees gathered virtually in October, met in Nashville during November, and ... 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 Jun 1, 2022

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: OPPORTUNITY THROUGH EDUCATION

For more than 25 years, Dr. Felicia Cumings Smith has helped Kentuckians harness the power of education to improve their and their families’ lives. It’s a calling she’s pursued in a variety of roles: from her early days as a Louisville elementary school teacher, to her leadership within the Kentucky Department of Education and the Jefferson County School District, and more recently as the president of the non-profit organization, National Center for Families Learning. 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