As the adage goes, there are three good reasons to be a teacher: June, July, and August. The myth is that during the summer, educators sleep late, lounge by the pool, and travel to exotic destinations. The reality is that many educators are hard at work taking university classes, engaging in professional learning, and planning for the next year. As educators rejuvenate and prepare for another school year, one question to consider is, “How can I improve family engagement?” The Flamboyan Foundation, a private organization focused on improving educational outcomes through collaboration, has created a free tool to help answer this question. The Classroom Family Engagement Rubric allows educators to reflect on their practice while suggesting ways to improve family engagement. So, educators, take action! Complete the rubric. Then set a goal to improve in one area. Create a realistic action plan that will have meaningful results. When an administrator asks for a professional growth plan in the fall, you will be one step ahead. If you need support, the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) offers resources to help educators improve their family engagement practices. Toyota Family Teacher of the Year Webinar series: These free, recorded webinars include interviews with award-winning educators. From preschool to high school and from libraries to Family Literacy Programs, these educators offer advice from teacher-to-teacher. They have tips on how to gain trust, build relationships, and engage families. Parent Engagement Packet: This free online resource includes a variety of resources for planning and implementing parent programming. It was designed for the Bureau of Indian Education’s Family and Child Education (FACE) program. However, there are many resources that can be used Family Learning Programs as well as preschool and elementary classrooms. Endless Bookshelf Resources: These resources are designed to help parents engage with their children. They can be used as part of a family literacy night or a family workshop. Use the PDF resources as handouts or show the videos to model strategies for parents. Families Learning Conference: For educators who are ready for more, consider registering for the National Center for Families Learning Conference. Learn from nationally recognized experts as they share researched strategies including two-generation learning and family engagement. Early bird pricing ends July 1 so make plans to attend today. As educators reflect on their practice and make plans for the school year, family engagement should be a focus. The National Center for Families Learning wants to support those efforts. If you have suggestions for new webinars, learning snapshots, or online resources, please offer them in the comments below.
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
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