The need is critical. Families matter. As a nation we must answer the call to prepare families to lead productive, fulfilling lives. It is only through this effort that we will continue to grow and prosper in a global economy.
The challenge is considerable. Thirty–two million adults are functionally illiterate. Low "basic" skills in both literacy and numeracy are more common in the United States than on average across other countries. One in six adults has low literacy skills-In Japan the comparable figure is one in twenty. Socio-economic background has a stronger influence on adult basic skills in the U.S. than in other countries. The odds of having poor health are four times higher for low skilled adults. Sixty-seven percent of all third graders are not proficient in reading thus continuing the cycle that impacts our health, our economy, and our global competitiveness.
There is hope in a simple solution. The National Center for Families Learning understands that families today can learn together anytime, anywhere. Learning is no longer confined within classroom walls. In fact, in order to adequately prepare families for the 21st century workforce, learning must occur everywhere.
NCFL values the unrecognized potential of disenfranchised and vulnerable families, particularly those who may be nonnative speakers of English, and strives to empower these families through education, community service, and mentoring.