The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) is proud to announce and welcome Dr. Ashley Vaughns as Director of Place-Based Initiatives. Ashley will work to ensure program quality in NCFL Family Literacy and Family Learning programs. She will oversee both the design and the implementation of processes that create high quality programming for NCFL moving forward.
A Greensboro, North Carolina native, Ashley comes to NCFL with a strong background in early childhood education and family engagement. After graduating from Xavier University with a Bachelor of Arts in Montessori education, Ashley continued onto Vanderbilt University, where she received her Master of School Administration. During this time, she taught in Metro Nashville Public Schools as a Montessori teacher while also serving as an adjunct professor at Belmont University. Ashley went on to earn her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana University.
Ashley served as a university professor for five years, first at the University of Nebraska Omaha before moving on to the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. She taught courses and conducted qualitative research on early childhood and family engagement at both institutions.
“I have really enjoyed preparing teachers to work with culturally and linguistically diverse families through community-based learning experiences and service-learning over the years,” she said.
In the coming months, Ashley will spearhead the implementation of model demonstration sites for three new statewide family literacy initiatives in Arizona, Nebraska, and Kentucky. The initiative stems from U.S. Department of Education Statewide Family Engagement Center (SFEC) grants focused on closing the academic achievement gap of low-income students.
“I am truly excited to have the opportunity to work with communities across the country to develop a program that meets the needs of their children and families,” said Ashley. “It has been my dream to reimagine how programs work with and view marginalized families. My goal with this work is to begin to reposition parents as leaders and co-creators of family learning and family engagement initiatives to transform education systems to be more inclusive and equitable for children.”
ABOUT NATIONAL CENTER FOR FAMILIES LEARNING The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) is a national nonprofit organization that works to eradicate poverty through education solutions for families. Partnering with educators, literacy advocates, and policymakers, NCFL develops and provides programming, professional development, and resources from the classroom to the community that empower and raise families to achieve their potential. For more information on NCFL visit.
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 $35 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
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®.Go to Dollar General Literacy Foundation's website
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.PNC Grow Up Great
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
NCFL has partnered with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation since January 2016. The Foundation is currently supporting a dynamic two-generation family engagement initiative that expands NCFL's Family Learning model into select Head Start programs nationwide. NCFL's model presents an innovative way to support Head Start programs in meeting outcomes aligned with the Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework.Visit the Foundation website
Better World Books
Better World Books selected NCFL as its domestic literacy partner in 2005 and has raised more than $1 million to support NCFL’s work and donated more than $15 million to support literacy and education efforts worldwide. Better World Books is a triple-bottom-line online bookstore, working equally for people, planet and profit. Each book purchased powers literacy across the world.
Better World Books’ support of NCFL has provided books and workshops to families after Hurricane Katrina, donated large book donations to literacy programs and families nationwide and fueled innovative family literacy and learning programs and resources in libraries, schools and community-based organizations. In addition to their work for literacy and education, Better World Books diverts books from landfills and offers carbon-balanced shipping.Better World Books
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
In 2013, NCFL began a partnership with the Gates Foundation to ensure that our network of students, teachers, and families thrive among recent shifts in standards-based education. NCFL will leverage the unique strengths of our award-winning Wonderopolis® platform to build upon the growing teacher network that uses the resource for core daily instruction and as a basis for professional growth.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.Goodling Institute for Research and Family Literacy at Penn State University