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Sep 24, 2018 |
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Jan Moran Collier City Learning Library, located in Florida, was one of three libraries across the country to be awarded a grant to be a Camp Wonderopolis site. The library staff shared the following about their program. “Music can change the world because it can change people.”  Bono Beats continued to flow and learning continued to grow throughout the summer with the support of the National Center for Families Learning’s Camp Wonderoplis.  Families looked forward to dinner and activities at the Jan Moran Collier City Library.  They manipulated music and explored the science of sound. collier blog photo 2 Families gravitated to DJ Christine from Girls Make Beats, having fun while creating their own transitions by matching tempo between songs.  Their enjoyment kicked up at the last camp gathering when the DJ entered the Creation Station and she gave the participants the opportunity to observe Eddie, their expert music engineer at work.  His teachings on ProTools had the crowd so amped! The crowd expressed themselves by having the recordings mixed into individually unique and creative expressions of music and sound. Campers also wondered why their voices sounded different on a microphone.  They laughed as they experimented with an old tape recorder and played their voices back from them.  The participants were now understanding that even though their voices sounded funny and different, it didn’t mean other than people heard it that way. Science! Robots Dash and Dot joined the symphony of sounds at the event.  Dash or Dot are robots that perform a variety of activities that encourage children to program. Specifically, families used their creativity and the Xylo app to program Dash to play a Xylophone song that they created. Science activity stations were set up in the final evening.  The families learned how megaphones work by making megaphones and receiving a simple explanation about how the sound waves are amplified when they are concentrated through a tube. They made simple “harmonicas” and were fascinated by the sounds that they could make through their creations.  Loud and fun! They learned how breathing out through the harmonica created air pressure, and that the air pressure caused vibration through the “harmonica” made with popsicle sticks, paper, and rubber bands.  When that vibration is created, sound waves travel through the air and to our ears. Lastly, the science of sound waves continued with kids exploring how sound travels.  A spoon attached to yarn made a gong.  The kids put the yarn to their ears, and the spoon was hit with a fork.  They were shocked and amazed to hear that the sound was louder through the yarn held to their ears than to the sound without.  When the ruler hit the spoon, it created sound waves that traveled up the yarn to their ears instead of spreading out into the air around them.  The yarn acted as a conductor, an object that allows sound waves to travel. By the end of the evening, they realized that when a ‘noise’ is made, it creates invisible sound waves that move through the air and to our ears.  And that there are different ways that sound waves can travel.

Interested in bringing Camp Wonderopolis to your program? Camp Wonderopolis online learning content is free year-round for individuals, families, classrooms, and programs. Visit to explore five unique editions of Camp Wonderopolis, each loaded with 42 lessons, six Maker activities, book lists, and more. To enhance your program, NCFL offers Campsite Kits available for purchase. Receive support and guidance to integrate Camp Wonderopolis into your programming when you purchase the Program Kit at


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NCFL Partners

Toyota Family Learning Program

Toyota, one of the nation's most successful corporations, began a partnership with NCFL in 1991. In addition to a commitment of more than $35 million, Toyota has also contributed a wealth of in-kind support — including advertising, planning and management expertise — to form one of the most progressive corporate/nonprofit partnerships in the nation.

Three major programs have been developed through the Toyota partnership based on the family literacy model of parents and children learning together. These models have influenced federal and state legislation, leveraged local dollars to support family literacy and led to successful programs being replicated across the country.

Read More about Toyota and NCFL

Dollar General Literacy Foundation

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation began partnering with NCFL in 2006. A signature effort of this partnership is the National Literacy Directory, a resource that launched in 2010 and strives to reach the 35.7 million adults ages 18-64 who do not have a high school diploma by guiding them to better-paying, more stable jobs.

The National Literacy Directory contains over 10,000 educational agencies located across the United States and has a dedicated toll-free number to help support those wanting to pursue educational opportunities in their communities.

Dollar General also provides support for development of NCFL’s innovative family learning resources centered on financial literacy and Parent and Child Together (PACT) Time®.

Go to Dollar General Literacy Foundation's website

PNC Grow Up Great

PNC Grow Up Great believes deeply in the power of high-quality early childhood education and provides innovative opportunities that assist families, educators and community organizations to enhance children's learning and development.

PNC Grow Up Great has partnered with NCFL since 1994 to advance early literacy and learning resources for vulnerable families. Current efforts supported by PNC include a collaborative initiative in two at-risk Detroit communities that engages families to support vocabulary development for children under age 5.

NCFL's work is also featured on the PNC Grow Up Great Lesson Center website. The Lesson Center includes over 100 free, high-quality preschool lesson plans and research-based instructional techniques and strategies. All lesson plans contain Home/School Connections printouts, in English and Spanish, to help families extend and reinforce the learning at home.

PNC Grow Up Great

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

NCFL has partnered with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation since January 2016. The Foundation is currently supporting a dynamic two-generation family engagement initiative that expands NCFL's Family Learning model into select Head Start programs nationwide. NCFL's model presents an innovative way to support Head Start programs in meeting outcomes aligned with the Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework.

Visit the Foundation website

Better World Books

Better World Books selected NCFL as its domestic literacy partner in 2005 and has raised more than $1 million to support NCFL’s work and donated more than $15 million to support literacy and education efforts worldwide. Better World Books is a triple-bottom-line online bookstore, working equally for people, planet and profit. Each book purchased powers literacy across the world.

Better World Books’ support of NCFL has provided books and workshops to families after Hurricane Katrina, donated large book donations to literacy programs and families nationwide and fueled innovative family literacy and learning programs and resources in libraries, schools and community-based organizations. In addition to their work for literacy and education, Better World Books diverts books from landfills and offers carbon-balanced shipping.

Better World Books

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

In 2013, NCFL began a partnership with the Gates Foundation to ensure that our network of students, teachers, and families thrive among recent shifts in standards-based education. NCFL will leverage the unique strengths of our award-winning Wonderopolis® platform to build upon the growing teacher network that uses the resource for core daily instruction and as a basis for professional growth.

Foundation Website

Goodling Institute

NCFL has partnered with the Goodling Institute for Research and Family Literacy at Penn State University since 2001, working collaboratively to further research, professional development, and policy efforts for family literacy and intergenerational learning.

The work of this partnership includes, but is not limited to, a strong research strand at NCFL's national annual convening, the Families Learning Summit; advocacy for family literacy and learning to further support for and inclusion of family-focused education in new and ongoing legislation; and dissemination of the latest research, resources, information, and professional development opportunities for literacy and learning practitioners and advocates, including the Certificate in Family Literacy provided by the Goodling Institute.

Goodling Institute for Research and Family Literacy at Penn State University