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Dialogic Reading

Dialogic reading is a research-based technique that can be used effectively with children ages two through five. In dialogic reading, the adult encourages the child to participate in the telling of the story they're reading together rather than just listening. During this training, participants will learn how to use dialogic reading strategies in the classroom, and help parents transfer these strategies to use at home.

Dialogic Reading Workshops (Train-the-Trainer)

This train-the-trainer session will help staff provide parents with the knowledge and skills needed to use dialogic reading strategies with their children. Dialogic reading is a research-based strategy that can be used effectively with children ages two through five years. Participants will leave with materials to deliver parent workshops based on the findings of the National Early Literacy Panel (NELP) report, research supporting dialogic reading and the work of Dr. Grover "Russ" Whitehurst.

Oral Language Development

Oral Language is a leading predictor skill of later reading achievement for preschool children. Talking and learning to have conversations is a major developmental task. This session explores oral language development and how it supports skills that predict later success in reading and kindergarten readiness. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss and practice strategies that work to support young children at home, in school and childcare settings, and in the community.

Parent Workshops to Go

Preschool Focus: Looking for parent workshops focused on children’s language and literacy development? Based on the findings of the National Early Literacy Panel (NELP) report , this training provides participants with six tried-and-true workshops they can use with families as stand-alone presentations or in a continuing series. The topics cover the underlying building blocks of literacy development and stress ways parents can integrate language and literacy into their children's daily lives through traditional family routines.

Elementary Focus: Looking for ways to shift parent involvement to true parent engagement that improves student achievement? This training focuses on the skills and strategies important for educators of five to ten-year-old children. Specific focus is given to intentional and purposeful teaching strategies that parents can use to support their child's reading acquisition. Participants leave this training with an understanding of research-based strategies to share with parents concerning students' language and literacy skill development in the areas of: creating a home learning environment, phonics and phonemic awareness, vocabulary development, fluency, and comprehension.

Phonological Awareness

Phonological Awareness, Part 1: Phonological Awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate the separate sounds within words independent of the words’ meanings. This ability is directly linked to later reading ability, making this a vital area of instruction for preschool educators. This training will focus on the importance of code-focused instruction, strategies to use in the classroom, and how to support children as they learn to manipulate units of sound.

Phonological Awareness Taught with Alphabet Knowledge, Part 2: Letter knowledge skills support the acquisition of decoding ability and can be effectively used with preschool children. Phonological awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate sounds within words. Pairing phonological awareness instruction with alphabet knowledge experiences has a larger impact on children’s literacy development rather than teaching either skill alone. This training focuses on the types of experiences preschool teachers can provide to support skill development in both areas for greater impact.

What Works for Early Language and Emergent Literacy Instruction

This awareness training provides an overview of the teacher- and family-based strategies that support emergent language and literacy instruction for young children. Participants will review the practical applications of findings from the National Early Literacy Panel (NELP) report and will apply them to a classroom situation. Each participant receives a copy of the National Center for Families Learning's guide, What Works: An Introductory Teacher Guide for Early Language and Emergent Literacy Instruction.

Writing in Preschool

As with reading, learning to write is a developmental process. Writing enables children and adults to express their knowledge and thoughts. When children stumble with handwriting, their thoughts and ideas can get lost and communication breaks down. This training focuses on the development of children’s fine motor skills, stages of writing and handwriting, and the importance of name writing in preschool. Participants will leave with proven strategies to use in the classroom and how to incorporate them into their daily routine.

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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