Vaughns named NCFL Place-Based Initiatives Director

The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) is proud to announce and welcome Dr. Ashley Vaughns as Director of Place-Based Initiatives. Ashley will work to ensure program quality in NCFL Family Literacy and Family Learning programs. She will oversee both the design and the implementation of processes that create high quality programming for NCFL moving forward.

A Greensboro, North Carolina native, Ashley comes to NCFL with a strong background in early childhood education and family engagement. After graduating from Xavier University with a Bachelor of Arts in Montessori education, Ashley continued onto Vanderbilt University, where she received her Master of School Administration. During this time, she taught in Metro Nashville Public Schools as a Montessori teacher while also serving as an adjunct professor at Belmont University. Ashley went on to earn her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana University.

Dr. Ashley Vaughns

Ashley served as a university professor for five years, first at the University of Nebraska Omaha before moving on to the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. She taught courses and conducted qualitative research on early childhood and family engagement at both institutions.

“I have really enjoyed preparing teachers to work with culturally and linguistically diverse families through community-based learning experiences and service-learning over the years,” she said.

In the coming months, Ashley will spearhead the implementation of model demonstration sites for three new statewide family literacy initiatives in Arizona, Nebraska, and Kentucky. The initiative stems from U.S. Department of Education Statewide Family Engagement Center (SFEC) grants focused on closing the academic achievement gap of low-income students.

“I am truly excited to have the opportunity to work with communities across the country to develop a program that meets the needs of their children and families,” said Ashley. “It has been my dream to reimagine how programs work with and view marginalized families. My goal with this work is to begin to reposition parents as leaders and co-creators of family learning and family engagement initiatives to transform education systems to be more inclusive and equitable  for children.”


The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) is a national nonprofit organization that works to eradicate poverty through education solutions for families. Partnering with educators, literacy advocates, and policymakers, NCFL develops and provides programming, professional development, and resources from the classroom to the community that empower and raise families to achieve their potential. For more information on NCFL visit