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Mar 26, 2021 |
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Like many other institutions, NCFL is reflecting on the recent mass murders that have taken place over the last several days. Hate and racism motivated some of these tragic events. We stand in solidarity with families in Georgia and Colorado—both states in which NCFL works—where communities mourn their loved ones, violently ripped from their lives. We stand in solidarity with women as well as Asian American and Pacific Islanders—whose communities withstood brutal attacks in Atlanta.

More than ten months ago, NCFL released a public statement responding to the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Amhaud Arbery, and James Scurlock. We acknowledged these tragedies resulted from deeply rooted racism that pervades the communities in which we live and work. While NCFL has always been an organization committed to equity, we had never released a public statement about national events that were seemingly unrelated to our core mission. Ultimately, we concluded these events are, in fact, related to our core mission and we need to use our voice and resources to actively work on changing the system. When people do not receive the same opportunities because of their race, it impacts families’ ability to thrive.

We must all commit to the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). NCFL has a long way to go, and this is a journey we will be on forever. For 32 years, we have leveraged our voice as a national organization to share information with the field about our work, and our DEI efforts deserve that same attention. To that end, please read on to learn about some specific actions we are taking as an organization.

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion are pillars embedded throughout our latest 3-year strategic plan, which was inclusively designed to gather inputs from many stakeholders including staff, board members, and a sampling of families participating in NCFL’s programming. In the coming months, we will have a public DEI vision for our organization. 
  • NCFL staff members have formed an Equity and Action Committee to seek continuous improvement in all areas of our work including programming, employee engagement, and communications.
  • We continue to practice language justice across our two-generation programs so that families can participate in their preferred language. In the pandemic era, we have successfully pivoted this work to occur online so that families and partners can join online meetings in their heart language.
  • NCFL’s place-based programs work to remove barriers for families of color across the United States and in tribal nations. A vast majority of parent participants in our programs are women.
  • NCFL works to evolve its communications and programming efforts, including a new podcast, to help change the narrative around family engagement to view low-income, ethnically diverse families through an asset-based lens.

Again, we ask you to please join us—and challenge us—in standing up and taking action to dismantle systemic racism. 


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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