Largest family literacy conference begins Sunday

SAN DIEGO – (March 19, 2012) The 21st National Conference on Family Literacy will feature best-selling authors and national education leaders as it convenes March 25-27 in San Diego at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina.

National education experts also will lead in-depth sessions on parent engagement, financial literacy and other critical education issues.

The conference attracts family literacy educators and advocates for the largest and most comprehensive gathering of educators, government officials and practitioners dedicated to multigenerational learning – a critical issue impacting work force readiness and economic stability for families and communities.

“Of the 93 million adults in the U.S. functioning at or below basic levels of literacy, 30 million are the parents or primary caregivers of children ages 8 and under,” said Sharon Darling, president & founder of NCFL. “A multi-generational problem needs a multi-generational solution. Family literacy provides practical, effective solutions to so many of the challenges facing our education system today, such as creating meaningful parent engagement.”

Highlights for the more than 1,500 conference participants will include:

  • Wes Moore will share his insights, as told in his book The Other Wes Moore, on the role of personal responsibility, accountability and family in his journey to success and the turn his life may have taken without them. Moore has been featured by “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” People magazine, USA Today, Essence, “The View,” “Meet the Press,” “Charlie Rose,” “Tavis Smiley” and NPR. He is a national correspondent and political/economic analyst for NBC News and regularly appears on “Morning Joe.”
  • John Grogan is the author of Marley and Me, a best-seller about his life with a loopy Labrador retriever, and The Longest Trip Home, a memoir of his journey to break the ties of home and then to find his way back again.
  • Alice Ozma, author of The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared, and her father, Jim Brozina, will share the story of commitment to family and to literacy through an inspiring promise they made to each other.
  • Karen Mapp, a lecturer with the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a leading expert in parent-school-community partnerships, will examine the role of family-school partnerships and their impact on children’s learning and development.
  • Nelson Lauver, a nationally syndicated broadcaster and educational rights advocate, will bring the story of his struggles with dyslexia, which are recounted in his book, Most Unlikely to Succeed, and the world that opened up to him as he overcame his reading problem.
  • Dorothy Bush Koch is the co-chairperson of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and the founder of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy Maryland Initiative, which raises money to support family literacy programs all over the state of Maryland.

In addition, two national awards will be presented at conference. The Toyota Teacher of the Year award winner will receive $20,000 for his or her program, and the runner up will receive a $2,500 grant.

The Better World Books/National Center for Family Literacy Libraries and Families Award will present three winning libraries with $10,000 in grants each for a total of $30,000.

All the winners of both awards will be in attendance.

To register and for more information, visit