Today's blog post is from Greg Forbes Siegman, a renowned author who will speak at NCFL's upcoming conference. Greg's work has been featured by Good Morning America, USA Today, The Washington Post Co., Education Week and National Public Radio. Read below for Greg's personal message — and why he's looking forward to the conference. Be sure to check out Greg and his books, The First Thirty and The Silhouette Man at www.GregForbes.com. For more information on NCFL's conference, including its all-star speaker lineup, check out our website.
— Emily Kirkpatrick
"As a child, reading was a struggle for me — words got scrambled up in my head — but my parents, Grandma, teachers and the librarians encouraged me to stick with it — and eventually, I got the hang of it. Once I did, I never wanted to stop reading.
"My ability to read was the first thing — and for a long time, the only thing — I did well. And that was no small matter to an awkward, scrawny, little, buck-toothed, giant-eared kid desperately wanting to do well. On a broader level, the books introduced me to people, places, things and ideas that could — and have — directly shaped the rest of my life. My interest in civil rights, my love of sports, my efforts to address major issues with simple solutions and my constant pursuit of transforming the imagined to the real — all can be traced directly to specific books I read as a boy.
"To this day, when I'm on the road for a speech or book signing, it is not uncommon to find me sitting on the floor deep within 'The Stacks' at a nearby library.
"I am excited about family literacy and NCFL's work because it helps other people experience those same things. I am looking forward to the conference because it's a chance to meet some of the incredible people who influenced kids like me in such a positive, lasting, life-changing way."
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
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