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Oct 13, 2016 |
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When Jean Ciborowski Fahey of Weymouth, Mass., joins a circle of moms and newborns, she condenses decades of knowledge about brain development into a 20-minute message that’s straightforward and provides parents ways to help their children develop a strong foundation for learning. [caption id="attachment_9684" align="alignleft" width="300"]NCFL Image Jean Ciborowski Fahey[/caption] “It’s important that parents of all income and education levels understand the benefits of early reading and its profound impact on the future success of their children,” Ciborowski Fahey said. “Our classes and the book give parents the tools to help their child start life on the right path.” The Weymouth, Mass., community educator was named 2016 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year by NCFL and Toyota for her efforts to educate parents of babies and young children about reading and brain development. Central to Ciborowski Fahey’s outreach strategy is a book she wrote, Make Time for Reading: a story guide for parents of babies and young children.  Ciborowski Fahey will use the $20,000 grant from Toyota and NCFL to reprint her book in English and Spanish, which will enable her to reach nearly 7,000 more parents. Since self-publishing in 2014, Ciborowski Fahey has printed and donated more than 10,000 copies of her book to mothers who deliver babies at South Shore Hospital, local Head Start parents, and area pediatric practices that serve low-income families. She also teaches other teachers, high school students, librarians, foster parents and child care providers these family literacy strategies. capture2“Jean is unwavering in her stance to build parent capacities as a way to improve child outcomes,” said Faye Weir, director, Parent Child Services for South Shore Health System. “‘Make Time for Reading’ is a response for an innovative teaching and learning tool that attracts more parents of all income and educational levels. It takes only minutes to read, but is packed with information parents can immediately use.” The Toyota Family Teacher of the Year award, a national honor now in its twentieth year, recognizes that families play a crucial role in the success of children and salutes educators who are exceptional at using intergenerational approaches to engage students and their families in education. “Research is clear that when parents are engaged in their child’s education, student achievement is increased,” said Dr. Joshua Cramer, NCFL vice president. “Jean’s work to teach parents how critical reading is to their child’s development not only has the power to provide successful outcomes for the child’s academic career, it also strengthens family relationships.” Ciborowski Fahey and runner-up, Ellin Klor of Santa Clara, Calif., will be recognized for their accomplishments at the annual Families Learning Summit in Detroit on October 18. The Summit convenes the nation’s most progressive experts in education, policy, and family and parent engagement to discuss and share the latest information regarding multigenerational approaches to learning. “Jean’s book is an example of the forward-thinking strategy we want to recognize and help expand through the Toyota Family Teacher of the Year grant,” said Mike Goss, general manager, social innovation, Toyota Motor North America. “The extraordinary work of both Jean and Ellin in engaging families in their children’s education will pay dividends for these students, their families, their schools and their communities for generations to come. Toyota is committed to supporting efforts that help people gain the literacy and language skills needed for upward mobility and future success.” [caption id="attachment_9694" align="alignleft" width="150"]NCFL Image Ellin Klor[/caption] Klor, a family literacy librarian with Read Santa Clara, works with at-risk families with limited literacy and/or language skills. She developed the Santa Clara 0-6 website focusing on early learning, health, nutrition and development, play and parenting. With this recognition, the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends received a $5,000 grant to continue Klor’s work engaging families through literacy events.

NCFL's new book, Stronger Families, Stronger Communities: 20 Years of Highly Effective Teaching Practices Supporting Two-Generation Learning, uncovers the common practices of 20 of the nation's best teachers—those receiving the Toyota Family Teacher of the Year Award across two decades—highlighting their most effective teaching strategies for supporting two-generation learning. You can purchase your copy here or on Amazon.


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NCFL Partners

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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