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Sep 19, 2019 |
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The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) was first formed in Louisville, Kentucky in 1989. Though its programming has since spread across the country, affecting more than 4.5 million parents and children, Louisville still remains the site of NCFL’s headquarters. As the national nonprofit celebrates 30 years of education solutions for families this year, its Families Learning Conference returns to Louisville—the place where it all began—this November.

From the Kentucky Derby to Muhammad Ali, Louisville is known for its world-famous people and events. Beyond these global icons, though, the city is home to many more attractions, museums, and cuisine, including a very popular beverage.

Rich with limestone, fertile soil, and temperature extremes, Kentucky has become the perfect place to manufacture bourbon, and approximately 95 percent of all bourbon is made in Kentucky today. As the state’s largest city, this makes Louisville a destination for fans of the spirit across the world. Downtown Louisville is home to a bevy of distilleries, including Evan Williams, a tour of which is part of the Main Ticket—a package that includes admission into multiple downtown attractions. 

Your trip to Louisville is bound to make you hungry, too, so be sure to sit down for a Hot Brown. This classic southern dish was invented in Louisville in the 1920s, and includes turkey, bacon, cheese and mornay sauce. It was, of course, invented at the Brown Hotel, which is one of several famous hotels in downtown Louisville. The Seelbach Hilton, another, was frequented by many colorful characters in the past, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, who took inspiration from the hotel for his novel The Great Gatsby, and Al Capone, who often visited the hotel to play clandestine poker games.

Today’s visitors may not win as much money as the famed gangster during their trip, but they can surely try at historic Churchill Downs. Home to the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs is perhaps the most famous horseracing track in the world. Live racing is scheduled during the Families Learning Conference on Nov. 3 and Nov. 6, with first post each day set for 1 p.m. The Kentucky Derby Museum, located just next door, offers visitors a detailed history of “the fastest two minutes in sports” as well.

It is one of a variety of unique museums located within a short proximity of the downtown area. The Louisville Slugger Museum features the largest baseball bat in the world, while the Frazier History Museum boasts one of the largest collections of toy soldiers on permanent display in the world. Other popular downtown museums include the kid-friendly Kentucky Science Center, the Muhammad Ali Center, KMAC Museum, and 21c Museum. Just down the street from “Museum Row” is the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, where Disney’s The Lion King will be showing from Oct. 30 to Nov. 17. Other live acts include Chris Stapleton on Nov. 2 and the Chainsmokers on Nov. 6 at the KFC Yum! Center. Does it all sound appealing? Those interested in seeing multiple attractions can save big by purchasing the Main Ticket.

Of course, there are plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs (and arms) in Louisville as well. The Big Four Bridge is a 0.5-mile-long scenic walking bridge that connects Louisville to Jeffersonville, Indiana. Lit by multicolored lights at night, the bridge is accessible any time of day. Nearby Climb NuLu and Butchertown CrossFit offer fitness opportunities for the more ambitious, and the Downtown YMCA sits just a few blocks away as well. Nearby, the 134-acre Louisville Zoo is home to more than 1,500 animals.

Home to a rich history and an exciting present, the city of Louisville offers fun and fulfillment for visitors of all types. The 2019 Families Learning Conference promises attendees the latest industry knowledge, valuable networking opportunities, and new family engagement teaching methods, all amidst the backdrop of a thriving southern metropolis.

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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 $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

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