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Nov 29, 2019 |
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Though we all encounter challenges in life, some face hurdles seemingly impassable. In time, these roadblocks can come to define us if we never receive an invitation to take the first step.

Across the country, NCFL Family Literacy programs have served as the first step for thousands of families. Last week for Family Literacy Friday, we shared the story of Regina Lynn, one of family literacy’s first students who took a fearful and courageous step away from an abusive relationship onto a road that would ultimately break her family’s cycle of poverty.

As we continue to celebrate National Family Literacy Month®, we remind ourselves that Regina’s story is not the only example of what is possible through hard work and the opportunity that a family literacy program can bring. This Friday we share the stories of four more individuals and families—all of whom spoke at our 2019 Families Learning Conference—in an effort to recognize that a family’s past never defines its future.

We hope you enjoy listening to these former family literacy students as much as we do. Let them serve as examples of all that is possible on the road still ahead.

Chloe Goodman's family literacy journey began the year the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) was founded, back in 1989. She began taking GED® classes in Louisville through the Kenan Family Literacy Program while her son attended preschool next door. Thirty years later, Chloe's family is flourishing.

Amanda Perez-Ramirez first joined the Family and Child Education (FACE) program at Chief Leschi School in Puyallup, Washington in 2013. She went on to obtain her GED® and is now in the process of earning her Associates degree.

Peyton Rhone entered the Toyota Family Learning Program in Atlanta in 1997. She went on to earn her GED® and a Bachelor's degree from Mercer University before beginning a 20 year career with Atlanta Public Schools. Today, Peyton's son has plans to become a teacher, her daughter is a forensic scientist, and her husband is one class away from attaining his Master's degree.

Through participating in the Toyota Family Learning program, Guadalupe Maldonado and her son, Diego, have changed their lives and the lives of their generations to come.

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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

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, they invested in the organization’s 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 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®.

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 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.

Learn more about PNC Grow Up Great

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

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.

Learn more about the Goodling Institute for Research and Family Literacy at Penn State University