Our Solutions


Libraries Supporting Family Learning, Literacy Brief (in partnership with ULC)

No longer are libraries a one stop shop. The free and affordable library programs available to parents and children are integral to supporting family literacy efforts in our communities. Produced in partnership with Urban Libraries Council, NCFL has created a Leadership Brief, Libraries Supporting Family Learning, which offers 5 actionable steps for libraries and partners to broaden and deepen family learning success. Download it here.

Family Service Learning Brief

Family service learning is more than a volunteer experience; it's guided learning that strategically connects participants to parenting curriculum and student learning objectives through service. A family service learning experience is comprised of several Parent and Child Together (PACT) Time® activities that occur in communities, which are maximized when the following six steps are included in the service learning process: investigation, planning and preparation, action, reflection, demonstration of results and celebration, and sustainability. This brief highlights the benefits of engaging families in service-learning activities.

30 Days of Families Learning Together

NCFL's guide to 30 Days of Families Learning Together (available in both English and Spanish) provides a month's worth of family literacy activities and practices designed to inspire family memories rooted in imagining, playing, and learning together. These hands-on and wonder-filled activities were hand-selected from our signature programs, Wonderopolis and Family Time Machine.

National Family Learning Report

With the goal of identifying challenges and opportunities facing today's parents nationwide as they prepare to arm their children with the tools they need to become lifelong learners, NCFL commissioned a Harris Poll to conduct a comprehensive survey exploring how parents spend time with their children. You can Download the 2014 National Family Learning Report here.

Sustain and Gain

The newly released publication “Sustain and Gain" from NCFL outlining the blueprint for long-term, thriving family literacy/parent engagement is available for download.

Parent Involvement Videos

The Appalachia Regional Comprehension Center (ARCC) offers several videos about parent involvement on its website. View here.


National Early Literacy Panel: Developing Early Literacy

This report identifies the skills young children (ages zero to 5) need to become successful readers. The National Early Literacy Panel's primary goal was to identify interventions, parenting activities and instructional practices that promote the development of children's early literacy skills.

The Effect of Family Literacy Interventions On Children's Acquisition of Reading

Monique Sénéchal conducted this meta-analytic review for the National Center for Family Literacy.

Download The Effect of Family Literacy Interventions On Children's Acquisition of Reading.

Summer Fun Summer Learning Program

Supported by a generous grant from The UPS Foundation, the Summer Fun Summer Learning community enrichment program offers meaningful educational activities during the summer months. The program provides fun, research-based learning experiences for children ages 6 through 13. Parents are invited and encouraged to attend an end-of-the-week event that highlights the activities in which their children participated, such as skits, talent shows, spelling bees and more.

Activities are embedded with scientifically based reading research and are provided for a five-week period. Each unit included daily instructional activities blocked in two-hour periods. Although the activities are directed at the 6- through 13-year-old age group, children somewhat younger and older than this age span also can participate in the activities.

Talking about Wordless Picture Books

Talking About Wordless Picture Books: A Tutor Strategy Supporting English Language Learners

This resource supports tutors who are working with low to intermediate English language learner parents in family literacy programs. Developed by NCFL with funding from UPS, the strategy provides detailed instructional activities to help ELL parents build and practice English conversational skills.

Download Talking about Wordless Picture Books.

Practitioner's Toolkit: Working with ELL

Practitioner Toolkit: Working with Adult English Language Learners

This toolkit offers support to adult education and family literacy instructors who are new to serving adult English language learners and their families in rural, urban, and faith- and community-based programs.

Download the Practitioner Toolkit.

Financial Fitness: A Guide to Everyday Money

Success with money management begins when there is a solid financial literacy foundation that delves into the many aspects of money and how it impacts everyday living. Whether it's one dollar or thousands of dollars, management of the dollar has far-reaching and lasting impacts for people of all ages and economic levels.

Download Financial Fitness.

Financial Opportunity: Family Progress

Developed by NCFL and the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), this complete curriculum offers an easy-to-use framework for teaching families basic concepts about managing money. The adult student workbook is appropriate for adults with a fourth-grade reading level, and the activity play pack outlines nine fun activities that families can do together.

Introducing comprehension strategies to adult readers

This resource is intended for instructors who work with adult learners. It is designed to present some strategies that you can use with your learners who need to improve their reading comprehension. Although the focus of these pages is reading instruction, it is not about working with beginning readers. It is about helping those adult learners who are competent at identifying words and wouldn't describe themselves as having “a reading problem" strengthen their understanding of text.

As a good reader, you probably are unaware of the strategies you are using as you read. Reading requires effort! You have to pay attention and often have to reread and reflect. Sometimes when a passage is not clear, you stop, think about it and then read on to see if your understanding grows. This process has been described as “extracting and constructing meaning." Although you may do this naturally, some readers don't. Many adult learners are unaware of what good readers are actually doing as they read.

Included in this resource are some video clips that demonstrate the introduction of two research-based reading comprehension strategies to adult learners — coding text and question-answer relationship (QAR). One of the examples shows a teacher working with a group; the other shows a one-on-one tutoring approach. In each example, the instructors use a four-stage process for teaching the strategies:

  • Introduction
  • Modeling
  • Guided Practice
  • Independent Practice / Discussion

You may view brief segments of each stage of the lesson by clicking each one in order. You will read a description of the instructors' and students' activities at each point in the lesson, and then watch each video clip.

Introduction to the Coding Text Strategy

Introduction to the Question-Answer Relationship (QAR) Strategy

Applying Research in Reading Instruction for Adults

This resource helps build adult literacy instructors' knowledge of scientifically based reading research and provides basic guidance on how to use it in the classroom.

Download Applying Research in Reading Instruction for Adults.