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23rd Annual National Conference on Family Literacy & Families Learning Summit

The premier event focused on learning & education for children and their families was held in Washington, DC, on February 17 - 19, 2014.

Summiteers were able to meet and hear from the most exciting and informed advocates and enthusiasts of families learning, in a nurturing space where professionals invested in learning and literacy network and learn together.


Three exciting additions and new twists this year included the following:

Wonder by RJ Palacio

  1. Featured Sessions with the Smithsonian Institution’s educational experts, and a complimentary field trip for special events at the nation’s most respected learning hub: Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
  2. Smithsonian

    Opportunity to meet and hear from young-adult best-selling author of Wonder, R.J. Palacio. Like NCFL’s Wonderopolis.org, Wonder champions the use of real-world investigation and experience to gain understanding of the subjects that pique our natural curiosity.

  3. A special track of sessions provided by the Literacy Funders Network (LFN), a formal affinity group of the Council on Foundations, which provided exciting insights on literacy efforts from funder perspectives.
  4. An exciting session with the Urban Libraries Council featuring leading library executives, bold research-based models, and community‑wide initiatives that leverage libraries as vital hubs of learning for families.

Additional presenters included:

  • Holly Robinson Peete, actress, parent, education advocate and founder of the HollyRod Foundation. As a contestant on the hit television series Celebrity Apprentice, Peete set fundraising records for her charity, which raises awareness for consistent and reliable education, outreach, and support for both Parkinson’s disease and autism
  • Greg Toppo, USA Today’s national K-12 education and demographics reporter
  • Dr. Joyce Epstein, parent involvement expert and director of the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships at Johns Hopkins University
  • Jackie Hance & Janice Kaplan, authors of I’ll See You Again
  • Dr. Shirley Brice Heath, professor of linguistics, emerita, Stanford University, and author of Words at Work and Play: Three Decades in Family and Community Life
  • Dr. Vikki Katz, assistant professor, Rutgers University, and author of Kids in the Middle: How Children of Immigrants Negotiate Community Interactions for their Families
  • Christopher Lehman, literacy expert and author of books for educators including Pathways to the Common Core
  • R.J. Palacio, author of the best-selling book Wonder
  • Annie Murphy Paul, author of Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives
  • Dr. Raymond Terrell,, educator with more than 40 years of experience with diversity and equity issues
  • Guadalupe Valdes, the Bonnie Katz Tenenbaum Professor of Education at Stanford University
  • Ellen Wartella, director of the Center on Media and Human Development and professor at Northwestern University

23rd Annual National Conference on Family Literacy & Families Learning Summit speakers