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Mar 18, 2022 |
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With spring break just around the corner, that means summer vacation will be here soon! While planning for family and student engagement during the summer months, consider using NCFL’s turnkey learning content, the Wonderopolis® Explorer Program.

Graphic with the covers of 10 Wonderopolis Explorer Program Guides

Wonderopolis, NCFL’s digital property that has welcomed more than 70 million visitors over the past decade, fosters natural curiosity and imagination through exploration and discovery for learners of all ages. With the Explorer Program, Wonderopolis’ daily intriguing questions move beyond the screen and into a variety of programs all across the country.

The readymade program offers 10 weeks’ worth of step-by-step instructions to support facilitators in guiding learners as they investigate a topic and engage in project-based learning. 

Each daily session includes an opening activity, one of the most popular Wonders of the Day®, a post-reading activity, a Maker project, and a wrap-up activity or discussion. Each session sparks children’s learning for approximately 2-3 hours each day and includes multidisciplinary content that purposefully aligns with educational standards, the STEM Educational Quality Framework, and Bloom's Digital Taxonomy, making it compatible with K-12 curriculums across the country.

This Explorer Program is ideal for not only on-site programming such as summer camps, afterschool programs, and recreational programs, but is also easily adaptable for families, homeschooling co-ops, and other out-of-school learning opportunities. Incorporating one full session into your program’s daily routine can keep children engaged and learning without knowing it. Plus, the Wonderopolis Explorer Program can be delivered by anyone—facilitators do not need an education background to lead the activities.

Cover of one Explorer Program guide

Check out the content to learn how it can be used with your learners. Download a free sample guide that contains one day of lesson plans and materials lists, in addition to book lists and other activities, by visiting the Wonder Store today!


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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