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Apr 24, 2023 |
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Join NCFL on Thursday, May 4 at 3 p.m. ET to learn the family engagement strategies implemented by Toyota Family Teacher of the Year winners.

Award-winning Strategies for Family Engagement | Available in Spanish | Thursday, May 4 3pm ET

When parenting adults are actively involved in their children’s education, children do better in school. For decades, we’ve known the importance of involving and engaging families as an integral part of contributing to successful school turnaround, greater literacy and learning outcomes, and higher attendance rates. Strong family engagement efforts serve as a bridge to connect families, schools, and communities, creating an ecosystem for equitable learning opportunities. Because of family engagement’s well-publicized efficacy, educators, administrators, and family-facing professionals are looking for ways to authentically engage families; particularly those experiencing poverty or whose voices and ideas have traditionally been underrepresented or left out of conversations.

Join NCFL’s webinar on May 4th to hear from two award-winning educators who serve parents, caregivers, and children using a strong multi-generational approach to learning. Learn how Ivonne Ortiz, 2022 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year, and Leila Kubesch, 2020 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year, focus on building effective family–school partnerships that support student achievement and school improvement.

Register today!


Ivonne Ortiz

Ivonne Ortiz
2022 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year
Mesa Public Schools

Ivonne Ortiz and her family moved from Puerto Rico to Mesa, Arizona in 2002, jumpstarting her career in the public school system with the Department of Education of Mesa. Her career change has been a source of great personal and professional satisfaction, leading her to work with the district for 13 years. For 10 of those years, Ivonne has been an instructor with the Family Literacy adult program. She currently serves at the Jefferson and Longfellow Elementary Schools.

Leila Kubesch

Leila Kubesch
2020 Family Teacher of the Year
Parents 2 Partners

Leila Kubesch is the 2022 National Teachers Hall of Fame Inductee and the 2020 Ohio Teacher of the Year. She committed her career as an educator to serving in high-need communities and advocating for social change. She is the founder and director of the not-for-profit organization Parents 2 Partners. Through this non-profit, she empowers school leaders, educators, and service providers with essential skills for culturally responsive family outreach.

She works to support schools in developing meaningful connections for the success of all students. Kubesch has spent two decades working with diverse youth, families, and educators to remove cultural barriers and promote equity and student well-being.


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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