National Family Literacy Month offers an opportunity for educators to emphasize the important role that families play in the education of their children. This month join the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) in celebrating families learning together. We invite you to explore a variety of free resources for families, teachers, and students to support learning in fun and engaging ways.
Cultivating Readers is a family-friendly magazine available for download on FamiliesLearning.org that provides effective and simple strategies to support a child’s early reading skills. The guide includes a monthly calendar of activities to help caregivers and children learn as part of their everyday routine. Available in English and Spanish, this resource is designed for families with children from birth to age eight.
Camp Wonderopolis® is a free online learning destination that's full of fun, interactive STEM and literacy-building informational texts boosted by Maker experiments. Perfect for fall and winter break, its five uniquely themed Camps help build vocabulary, background knowledge, reading comprehension, critical thinking, and other literacy skills.
When you register as a Camper (kids of all ages) or Counselor (caregivers, community and library program staff, teachers), you'll enjoy learning through wonder—an approach honed by the award-winning Wonderopolis.org.
There are many opportunities in our everyday lives to help children learn. Involving your child in a routine task, for example, is a great place to start. Children can help make the grocery list, check the pantry to see if needed items are present, organize coupons, and use a calculator to keep a running tab of the cost at the store. This resource includes more ideas to help your child learn that can be incorporated into daily life.
Unable to venture beyond your hometown this year? The South Dakota Statewide Family Engagement Center is here to help! Its Road Trip Across the United States resource takes you all through the country’s national parks, where you'll encounter breathtaking photos, immersive Virtual Reality experiences, and interesting facts about some of our most precious pieces of land. There are also fun and simple activities that you can do at home to extend your learning.
This resource supports tutors who are working with parents and caregivers who are English language learners in family literacy programs. Developed by NCFL with funding from UPS, the strategy provides detailed instructional activities to help ELL parents and caregivers build and practice English conversational skills.
These are just some of the many resources from NCFL and our partners that can help you and your family learn and grow together this month. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to learn about even more useful resources and strategies. Happy learning!
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
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