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Sep 5, 2023 |
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The Mainstage lineup for the 2023 Families Learning Conference is set! Not only will this year’s conference feature 70+ breakout sessions and seven networking events, but attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from some of the top voices in early childhood education, education technology, and education innovation.

The conference begins on Monday, October 23rd with our Opening General Session featuring NAACP National Director of Education and Innovation Research and Howard University professor Dr. Ivory Toldson. He is the bestselling author of “No BS (Bad Stats): Black People Need People Who Believe in Black People Enough Not to Believe Every Bad Thing They Hear about Black People,” and his research has been featured in The Washington Post,, The New York Times, The Root, and The National Journal, among others. We can’t think of anyone better than Dr. Toldson to kick off an exciting three days of cutting-edge research and innovative strategies in family learning.

Noted Silicon Valley-based technologist, speaker, and humanitarian Christopher Lafayette will headline our Tuesday evening mainstage session and dinner, After Hours at #NCFL23. Lafayette is the founder of Gatherverse and HoloPractice, and leads the Black Technology Mentorship Program, promoting inclusive technology and healthcare innovation. His advisory roles span global organizations like Google and Meta, with a focus on keeping humanity central to technology. His thoughts on artificial intelligence in education are sure to be a highlight of the evening.

Dr. Walter Gilliam, executive director of the Buffett Early Childhood Institute will provide our final keynote as part of Wednesday morning’s Closing General Session. Dr. Gilliam serves as the Board of Directors’ vice president of ZERO TO THREE and is a senior fellow working with the Bipartisan Policy Center's Early Childhood Initiative. He has led national analyses of state-funded pre-kindergarten policies and mandates, how pre-kindergarten programs are being implemented across the range of policy contexts, and the effectiveness of these programs at improving school readiness. Pre-conference attendees will also have the chance to hear from Dr. Gilliam as he provides the keynote at Sunday’s workshop. You won’t want to miss hearing these stellar speakers on the mainstage this October. 

Visit today to see the full conference schedule and start the registration process. And be sure to book your hotel reservation by October 2nd to take advantage of our room block discount!


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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