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Jul 9, 2018 |
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The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) was successful in advocating to include family literacy as a competitive priority in a new grant competition hosted by the United States Department of Education, creating an advantage for those entities including family literacy as a key part of their overall strategy. The Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFEC) program seeks to promote high-impact cradle-to-career family, school, and community engagement by funding centers that build the capacity of all stakeholders—including families, State educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), school-level staff and personnel, and community based organizations—to engage in effective partnerships that support student achievement and school improvement and increase the number of high-quality educational options available to families. NCFL wants to partner with organizations, states, and LEAs interested in working with us on family-literacy oriented applications. We believe that using the SFEC competition to seed and support family literacy programs across the US will maximize this opportunity for low income children and families. Please review the competition criteria and contact us at with the subject line “SFEC partnership inquiry” if you are interested in partnering on this funding opportunity. Please read on for high-level information related to the grant. Competitive Preference #1 includes a federal definition of family literacy: The Secretary gives priority to projects that are designed to— (a) Create SFECs that will provide direct services to parents and families through evidence-based (as defined in this notice) activities. (b) Provide families with evidence-based (as defined in this notice) strategies for promoting literacy. This may include providing families with access to books or other physical or digital materials or content about how to support their child's reading development, or providing family literacy activities (as defined in section 203(9) of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act).   Lead applicant must be a statewide organizations (or consortia of such organizations) defined as: A public or private organization that— (1) Provides family engagement support or services; (2) Demonstrates capacity to provide such support or services statewide to all States participating in its proposed project; and (3) Is not an SEA or LEA.   Funding information: Estimated Available Funds: $9,700,000. Estimated Range of Awards: $500,000–$1,000,000 per project year. Estimated Number of Awards: 10 Project Period: Up to 60 months   Matching Details for Grant Renewal: Each grantee must contribute non-Federal matching funds or in-kind donations equal to at least 15 percent of its SFEC grant award (years 2-5) MOUs:

  • Preliminary MOU signed by all parties needed at application submission.
  • Final MOU must be signed by all parties and submitted by the end of the first year.
SEA Partnership: While each SFEC grantee must partner with at least one SEA, no SEA may partner with more than one SFEC grantee. Other important funding details: Must use not less than 30 percent of the funds received under this competition for each fiscal year to establish or expand technical assistance for evidence-based (as defined in this notice) parent education programs; Use not less than 65 percent of the funds received under this part in each fiscal year to serve LEAs, schools, and community-based organizations that serve high concentrations of disadvantaged students, including students who are English language learners, minorities, students with disabilities, homeless children and youth, children and youth in foster care, and migrant students; All family literacy and engagement strategies must be evidence-based. Federal definition of evidence-based: Evidence-based, for purposes of this notice, means an activity, strategy, or intervention that demonstrates a statistically significant effect on improving student outcomes or other relevant outcomes based on promising evidence from at least one well-designed and well-implemented correlational study with statistical controls for selection bias. Projects are supported by evidence and two robust evaluations. Deadlines: notice of intent to apply is Friday, July 13, 2018, and the deadline for transmittal of applications is Monday, July 30, 2018.  


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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