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NCFL is excited that you are investing your time to nominate an outstanding family educator for the 2016 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year award. NCFL and Toyota began recognizing teachers who are best at engaging families in the educational process 19 years ago.

The educator selected as Toyota Family Teacher of the Year will receive $20,000 to further family engagement efforts. One runner-up will receive $5,000. In addition, both the grand-prize and runner-up winners will be recognized and receive their awards at the 2016 Families Learning Summit, October 17-19, 2016, in Detroit, Michigan. Both will receive a scholarship and travel stipend to participate. Summit attendance is required to receive the awards.


When completing your online nomination form, you will have the option to fill in individual sections, save your incomplete entry, and return to your initiated application form at another time. Please make sure all required domains are completed before formally submitting your nomination.

Anyone with detailed knowledge about the nominee is eligible to complete the nomination form. Programs may nominate up to two family educators using separate nomination forms. Self-nominations will be disqualified. Incomplete nominations or late submissions will not be accepted.

Past winners have served students ranging from preschool to adult learners. School- and community-based teachers who are exceptional at engaging families are eligible for nomination.

Please submit your nomination no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 16, 2016. For assistance or questions, please contact Dr. Joshua Cramer at jcramer@familieslearning.org.

2016 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year Selection Criteria

The 2016 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year awards and recognizes the positive impact of teachers who engage families in school- and community-based educational programming. NCFL is committed to promoting the winning educator's success by sharing participating family stories and highlighting the impact of the $20,000 grant award on the designated program. Applications will be evaluated using the following award selection criteria.


  • Winning educators must work for a school- or community-based program that engages families in the educational process. The location of the program must be in the United States of America.
  • Winning educators will be asked to participate in NCFL's extensive outreach activities to promote their practices and programs, including, but not limited to, participation in the 2016 Families Learning Summit.
  • Award funds must be expended on the designated family engagement project between October 2016 and October 2017.
  • Award winners will commit to sharing project and family stories with NCFL on an ongoing basis, particularly through requested communications throughout the year, including an end-of-year report.
  • Each family educator must be nominated by someone who knows the nominee's work well and has extensive knowledge of the nominee's strengths, approaches, and collective positive impact on behalf of children and families.

Winning Award Criteria

NCFL is looking for school- or community-based teachers who are passionate about engaging families and who demonstrate exemplary practices. Specifically, NCFL wants to reward family teachers who:

  • Serve parents and children using a strong two-generation approach to helping them learn together in innovative ways.
  • Have a demonstrated record of success.
  • Implement innovative ideas for expanding their program to benefit families and/or to engage more families.
  • Serve communities and families with high literacy and socioeconomic needs.
  • Would be successful at communicating promising practices to peers across the nation.