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Oct 21, 2021 |
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This guest blog post is written by Ann Kozma, Educator Innovation Lead at Flipgrid.


 "Educators, families, and communities can all embrace the power of play and enhance and strengthen learning with play at home."

–⁠Amanda Free, Digital Content Manager, National Center for Families Learning (NCFL)

I had the pleasure of speaking with Amanda Free, Digital Content Manager for the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL), during a “Community Conversation” we regularly have at Flipgrid. During our chat, we explored the free resources NCFL, Wonderopolis®, and Flipgrid provide, which can all be used to support families and communities while promoting literacy and play.

It was an excellent opportunity to learn more about the incredible work NCFL does and celebrate ideas to empower families and strengthen community connections. Watch to learn more.

I love that NCFL’s Wonderopolis makes learning come alive for folks worldwide, including through their partnership with us in the Flipgrid Discovery Library with over 1,000 ready-to-use discussion prompts.

Used by over 100 million educators, families, and students in 190 countries, Flipgrid is a simple, free, social learning app that uses short-form video to make learning fun, fulfilling, and empowering.

More ways to use Flipgrid as a family:    

  • Record reading progress and share with family  
  • Document oral history shared by elders
  • Read a bedtime story for a kiddo who’s far away
  • Send notes of encouragement and love

If you’re attending the 2021 Families Learning Conference October 25-27, you'll have the chance to meet my good friend and colleague Jornea Armant, who will share stories about unlocking resilience. You might even hear how she uses the Wonder of the Day® in her own home to spark dinnertime conversation with her daughters.

NCFL, Wonderopolis and Flipgrid—a dream team. Please connect with us on social media @Flipgrid and share how you’re using these resources with your family. We can't wait to celebrate with you!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ann loves to push all the buttons and play to learn. As an Educator Innovation Lead on Team Flipgrid at Microsoft, Ann works to help others explore how to meaningfully integrate technology into teaching and learning and is on a mission to help educators engage, empower, and amplify every voice in classrooms and communities around the world. She is a member of the Apple Distinguished Educator Class of 2015 and Leading Edge Certified as a Professional Learning Leader. Connect with her on Twitter at @annkozma723.


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NCFL Partners

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Toyota

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