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Oct 9, 2019 |
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The 2019 Families Learning Conference will continue its tradition of offering a strand of sessions featuring leading researchers in family literacy.

The featured research strand begins Monday, Nov. 4, with Dr. William Muth’s presentation, “'Presencing' the Field of Family Reentry Research and Practice” (9:45-11:00 a.m.). Dr. Muth is a professor of teaching and learning at Virginia Commonwealth University and a member of the board of directors for Hope House, a non-profit organization connecting families separated due to incarceration through literacy projects. Dr. Muth will present on his latest book, Fathers, Prisons, and Family Reentry: Presencing as a Framework and Method. His work on families expands the discussion beyond incarcerated parents to explore how an entire family ultimately serves an individual’s prison sentence. The presentation will also examine the various criminal justice approaches and programs found across the U.S. and Europe.

Later Monday afternoon, Dr. Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz presents “Native Families and Places of Indigenous Learning and Restorative Practices” (Monday, 3:15 p.m.-4:30 p.m.). Dr. Yazzie-Mintz is Co-Director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs as well as Senior Program Officer for early childhood education initiatives at the American Indian College Fund, the largest non-profit dedicated to the higher education of Native Americans. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Board for Education Sciences. Dr. Yazzie-Mintz, a member of the Navajo Nation, presents on her work with nine tribal colleges in their development of learning systems for children and their families and the engagement of these families throughout program design and implementation.

Rounding out the research strand, Tabitha Stickel, Dr. Esther Prins, and Dr. Anna Kaiper present “Family Literacy behind Bars: The Read to Your Child Program in a Pennsylvania Prison” (Tuesday 9:45-11:00 a.m.). Ms. Stickel is a Ph.D. candidate in the Lifelong Learning and Adult Education (LLAED) Program and a graduate assistant with the Goodling Institute for Research in Family Literacy at Penn State University, where Dr. Prins and Dr. Kaiper serve as Co-Director and Associate Director, respectively. Their session examines the experiences of 11 incarcerated fathers participating in a family literacy program at a rural state prison. This is the first study of the statewide, video-recorded, book-reading program. The presentation will include discussion on the effects of incarceration on families, the benefits of this and other family literacy programs for incarcerated families in general, and implications for practice.  


This guest blog post was written by Tabitha Stickel, Dr. Esther Prins, and Dr. Anna Kaiper. Their 2019 Families Learning Conference session will outline the impacts of incarceration on families, the benefits of the Read to Your Child family literacy program, and implications for practice.


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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