Apply for an Innovation Grant for your literacy program

The National Literacy Directory is again rewarding innovative literacy and education programs that are finding solutions to persistent challenges. In anticipation of National Family Literacy Month in November, we are seeking program innovations involving whole families in learning.

Eligible programs must have up-to-date member profiles listed in the National Literacy Directory. All current Directory members will need to make three updates to their current listings, and grant applications are also open to organizations* that complete a Directory profile by the October 20, 2017, deadline.

*Click here for official rules and to apply.

Congratulations to National Literacy Directory members Rosa Reyes, family education specialist at Completely KIDS, and Kathy Cornell, executive director of Literacy Green Bay, who were selected from a stack of worthy Innovation Grant applicants to travel to Tucson, Arizona, for the National Center for Families Learning’s Conference 2017, held October 9 to October 11.

Completely KIDS

Rose Reyes’ family education specialist position is new to Completely KIDS, located in Omaha, Nebraska. Her role was created to strengthen her organization’s abilities to provide programming that would benefit all families, including English language learners.

Her goal is to seek innovative strategies to increase the quality of Completely KIDS’ Family Strengthening Program, which engages school-age children and their parents during before- and after-school programs focused on empowering, educating, and building relationships.

“Having the opportunity to learn from people who have been doing this for a while would be such a stimulating experience,” she said.

At the Families Learning Conference, she’ll be joining hundreds of educators, family literacy staff, school administrators, education researchers, policy makers, and library staff to explore best practices and learn from leaders and organizations that have found success in engaging children and their families—and she’ll have over 100 concurrent sessions to choose from.

“The segment about Parent Engagement and Adult Education will really help me with identifying the weak points within our program so that we can implement procedures that will help with recruitment and retention,” she said.

Literacy Green Bay

Kathy Cornell has attended many conferences – but she’s never experienced a conference dedicated to two-generation approaches across the educational spectrum – from libraries to schools to adult education. Her organization, Literacy Green Bay in Wisconsin, annually serves 800 adults and 100 children enrolled in programs covering everything from ELL classes and family literacy programming to citizenship instruction and workforce development.

“I hope that this conference will provide me with opportunities to network with other family literacy providers, examine different existing family literacy models and partnerships, and learn effective strategies for developing collaborative partnerships in which all partners are accountable for its success,” she said.

Her organization’s biggest challenges include procuring stable and continuous sources of funding and resources, along with collecting the data to demonstrate program outcomes and results due to data privacy rules the local school system has in place.

“I hope to learn strategies for building my case for collective impact so I can attract funding, community awareness, and support for our family literacy programs.”

Both Cornell and Reyes will report on the best practices, resources, and inspiration they find at this year’s Families Learning Conference. Stay tuned and click here to learn more about NCFL’s annual convening of family literacy and learning professionals in Tucson, Arizona, this October 9-11, 2017.