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Nov 15, 2019 |
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November is National Family Literacy Month. Throughout the month, the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) works to share resources, tips, and success stories in order to equip and inspire families to learn together. These tools are published each Friday throughout the month of November as part of our ‘Family Literacy Friday’ series.

At NCFL, we know that everything takes time, especially family literacy and learning. That’s why we continue to develop resources that meet families where they are. In this blog post, we summarize just a few of the many resources we have created that make learning together easier and more fun than ever before.

Say & Play with Words

Research has shown that by age 3 children from low-income families may be hearing up to 30 million fewer words than those from higher-income families. This lag in vocabulary development puts children at an academic disadvantage before they start their first day of kindergarten. Developed by NCFL and implemented in both Detroit and Louisville, Kentucky, Say & Play with Words provides resources for family members and caregivers to engage with infants and young children through everyday interactions. has a variety of fun and simple vocabulary building activities and Word of the Week videos to explore.

National Literacy Directory

Are you or someone you know in need of citizenship classes? Maybe you are seeking your high school equivalency. Created in 2010, the National Literacy Directory has helped connect more than 50,000 potential students and volunteers to literacy services, community education programs, and testing centers. Find a program near you!


Wonderopolis reminds us that learning can be more interesting than we’ve ever imagined. This popular education site has seen more than 50 million visitors since its debut in 2010. Each day, a new Wonder of the Day exposes students to a wonder that catalyzes their curiosity while building background knowledge and strengthening critical thinking skills. The recent addition of Microsoft’s Immersive Reader expands content accessibility through a variety of reading assistance features. Check out today’s Wonder of the Day.

Parent Tips

Being a parent is one of life’s most rewarding yet challenging endeavors. NCFL has developed a variety of tips to make raising a little one just a bit easier.

Dive Deeper

From engaging families in children’s reading development to digital resources for family learning, NCFL has developed a variety of webinars in order to help parents and practitioners grow and deepen their knowledge base around family literacy and learning. Explore these webinars.

Providing your child with the proper learning environment and experiences can seem like a difficult and time-consuming endeavor, but utilizing the aforementioned tools can help to create valuable learning opportunities as life unfolds. At NCFL, we invite you to join us this month (and every month) in practicing memorable and rewarding family learning.


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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