NCFL celebrates National Family Literacy Day®

“Education is much more than schooling. It is the whole range of activities by which families and communities transmit to a younger generation, not just knowledge and skills, but ethical and behavioral norms and traditions…”

“Because parents are a child’s first teachers, we support family literacy programs.”

“We also recognize there is no substitute for a parent’s involvement in their child’s education.”

These aren’t excerpts from speeches at NCFL’s annual conference delivered by education professionals.

Rather, these fundamental truths have been incorporated as important components of the Republican and Democratic party platforms approved at their respective national conventions. Regardless of who wins the election on Tuesday, families are recognized as an integral factor in achieving academic progress.

The election season has been dominated by three major concerns ¾ the economy, the economy, and the economy. There is no better short-term or long-term solution than education ¾ education that centers on the family and includes lifelong learning.

These principles led to NCFL’s founding more than 20 years ago, and these principles guide our innovations today. We continue to create opportunities and solutions in support of family learning and engagement for teachers and parents.

With that in mind, we have four exciting developments to share with you as we celebrate National Family Literacy Day® today and National Family Literacy Month® throughout November. Our thoughts are with the families impacted by Hurricane Sandy. In light of the recent weather-related disaster that has affected many communities across our nation, we plan to announce the following to a broader audience in the weeks to come:

  • Toyota Teacher of the Year: Now in its 17th year, this program awards the winner a $20,000 grant for his or her program as well as a free trip to the 2013 National Conference on Family Literacy. The runner-up will receive $2,500 and a scholarship to attend the conference. For more details and to apply, visit:
  • Litera-Seeds is a mini-grant opportunity also sponsored by Toyota. There will be 10 to 20 mini-grants of $500 each awarded for educator-led programs and events that emphasize intergenerational participation and learning. NCFL recognizes the important work that is happening across the nation and therefore welcomes teachers, family literacy professionals, librarians, homeschool consortiums and other family literacy and learning advocates to apply for this one-time opportunity for 2013. Visit to apply.
  • Cultivating Readers (Cultivando el hábito de la lectura), available in print and online in English and Spanish, is a parent guide to building reading skills in children ages birth to 8. The guide gives tangible tips for parents to implement and also includes a calendar of monthly language activities to stimulate learning throughout the year. The publication, funded by Toyota, is available for download at NCFL’s website starting Nov. 12 or can be ordered free of charge for a limited time.
  • Wonderopolis® continues to be enhanced and now has the capacity for greater interaction and improved navigation thanks to a redesigned website. We also have aligned the Wonders of the Day® to meet Common Core State Standards, which emphasize the need for students to read more informational text. Check out today’s Wonder of the Day by our guest-writer Monica Holloway, best-selling author of Cowboy & Wills.

By giving educators and parents the support they need and deserve, we can ignite a love of lifelong learning in our children today and create strong communities and economies for the future.