Just announced: Funding opportunity for innovations in family learning

NCFL is seeking proposals for the Sharon Darling Innovation Fund (SDIF) Family Learning System Challenge. Interested organizations are encouraged to apply for funding to develop and implement innovative programs, initiatives, products, processes, or strategies aimed at significantly improving the status quo in family literacy, family engagement, and/or family leadership.

Who should apply? 

Eligible organizations include, but are not limited to:

  • Adult education programs
  • Early childhood programs
  • Childcare centers
  • Out-of-school time programs
  • Schools and school districts  
  • Libraries

What are the goals of the Sharon Darling Innovation Fund (SDIF) Family Learning System Challenge?

The SDIF exists to support the development of strong, positive relationships between families and schools or community organizations; to provide families with the resources and support they need to participate in literacy and learning activities, get involved in their communities, and develop their leadership skills; and to improve both adult and child learning outcomes, including literacy and language skills, that lead to equitable thriving families and communities.

Interested organizations should write their proposals with the intention of meeting one or more of the following goals:

  • Increasing access and quality of educational opportunities for parenting adults and their families.
  • Increasing the number of families participating in literacy and learning activities.
  • Improving the learning outcomes for children and their parents.
  • Enhancing and increasing positive interactions between parenting adults and their children.
  • Developing the leadership skills of parenting adults and caregivers.
  • Supporting and promoting the development of strong, positive relationships and engagement between families and schools or communities.

The SDIF was established to honor NCFL’s founder and to test new family learning innovations throughout our national network. By offering these grants to innovative practitioners, we continue to honor the spirit of our founder, Sharon Darling, to develop more opportunities to engage with families and communities across the country. 

The deadline to submit a proposal is 5 p.m. PDT on May 1, 2023. Selection of proposals will be based on the qualifications and experience of the organization or individual, the innovation offered in the proposed program or initiative, the budget and resources required, and the potential for the proposed program or initiative to meet the goals and objectives of this RFP.  NCFL will notify the selected organizations of their acceptance by June 1, 2023. Update: All applicants were contacted by email on June 1 with additional information about the acceptance notification. If you have not seen this email, please check your spam folder. 

To review the proposal criteria and scoring guide and to submit a proposal, click here.