Blog categories
Mar 6, 2009 |
  No Comments

We just wrapped up NCFL's 18th annual National Conference on Family Literacy. We hope you had a great time at Conference this year! Check out these highlights from the general sessions, and please post a comment letting us know your favorite part of Conference. Enjoy!

  • NCFL's president and founder Sharon Darling kicked off the conference with her opening remarks.
  • Mariano Moreno told us of his move from Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico, to Winston Salem, North Carolina.  It was in Winston Salem that Mariano became involved with the Toyota Family Literacy Program at Easton Elementary School.
  • Shigeru Hayakawa, president of Toyota Motor North America, Inc., took the audience through the 18-year partnership between Toyota and NCFL.
  • Congratulations to Maria Piñón, 2009 Toyota Family Literacy Program Teacher of the Year!
  • Henry Winkler was our keynote speaker at the opening session. What a treat!
  • The featured session, "Predicting and Promoting Early Literacy Skills: Things We Know and Things We Don't Know,"  was sponsored by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and featured some of the members of the National Early Literacy Panel.
  • Conference Day 2 kicked off at 9 AM with NCFL's vice president Emily Kirkpatrick leading the way.
  • Next up was Cecilia Sanchez, a family literacy student from Long Beach, California. Cecilia is an artist and a poet and brought her painting "The Wise Tree" with her.
  • To round out the session, Greg Mortenson thrilled us with tales from his book, Three Cups of Tea.
  • Later that day, Candyce Clifft, host of Louisville's Fox in the Morning, was the MC of the third annual Verizon Tech Savvy Banquet.
  • Robert Long is an adult education student from the T'iis Ts'ozi Bi'Olta-Crownpoint Community School Family and Child Education (FACE) program.  Robert is now studying Early Childhood Multi-Cultural Education.  Congratulations to Robert on all his successes!
  • Al Browne, vice president of the Verizon Foundation, and Christie Vilsack, founder of the Tech Savvy Awards and a Verizon Foundation Literacy Champion, presented the 2009 Verizon Tech Savvy awards.  Congratulations to the winner, the Indigenous Language Institute from Santa Fe, New Mexico!
  • To kick off the entertainment portion of the banquet, the Engelwood Elementary School Choir sang "The Journey."
  • Greg Forbes Siegman, author of The First Thirty, shared his literacy story with the audience, then welcomed author and illustrator Peter Reynolds to the stage.
  • With the help of the audience, Peter illustrated the 21st Century Learners' Constellation.
  • All good things must come to an end, and Laurie Fox, from the Linda Chester Literary Agency, helped close out Conference at the closing brunch.
  • Angela Coots was a student speaker, and we congratulate her on recently achieving her dream of being a nurse!
  • Victoria Molfese, a member of the National Early Literacy Panel, shared some of her research with the crowd.
  • And a big thanks to Jan Goldstein, who shared his life story and the role of learning and literacy in his life.

Thanks to all of you who attended Conference this year! We hope you had a wonderful time, and please let us know who your favorite speakers were (or what your favorite funny moments were) by posting a comment. Stay tuned for information about next year's conference!


Leave A Comment

NCFL Partners

NCFL Image
NCFL Image
NCFL Image
NCFL Image
NCFL Image
NCFL Image


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