Blog categories
Aug 14, 2023 |
  No Comments

Join NCFL on Thursday, August 31 at 3 p.m. ET for a discussion on building partnerships and engagement in rural communities. 

Partners for Rural Impact (PRI) is a national organization committed to rural student success. For much of the first 25 years, its efforts were focused on working with school districts in Appalachian Kentucky. Over time they recognized that aligning the contributions of a wide range of partners was essential to making progress on their six indicators of success—kindergarten readiness, third-grade reading, eighth-grade math, high school graduation, postsecondary degree attainment, and individual wellness. 

President and CEO, Dreama Gentry, will join us to share PRI’s model for building strong partnerships at the national, regional, and local levels and to discuss why working at all three is essential to creating the support structures rural students need to succeed.

Register today!


Dreama Gentry
President and CEO
Partners for Rural Impact

As the founder, president and CEO of Partners for Rural Impact, Dreama Gentry works to ensure the success of all rural students. For 25 years, those efforts were focused on Appalachian Kentucky, where she developed strategies to increase investment and improve outcomes on six indicators of success – kindergarten readiness, third-grade reading, eighth-grade math, high-school graduation, postsecondary degree attainment, and individual wellness.

Through the experience of designing and leading the first rural Promise Neighborhood, she created a place-based, cradle-to-career approach for improving outcomes for rural students and communities across the country. The model has been shared with and adopted by communities across the country, including Walla Walla and the Yakima Valley in Washington, Cocke County in Tennessee, as well as ones in South Carolina, Mississippi and Texas.

In 2018, Gentry launched the annual Rural Summit to bring practitioners and leaders from across the nation to share inspirations and ideas for improving the educational outcomes for students from rural communities. An Annie E. Casey Children and Family Fellow, she also serves on the board of directors for the Pine Mountain Settlement School.


Leave A Comment

NCFL Partners

NCFL Image
NCFL Image
NCFL Image
NCFL Image
NCFL Image
NCFL Image


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