How will you spend Thursday, October 4? It is World Pet’s Day, so you might want to snuggle Fido or Fluffy. In honor of Improve Your Office Day, clean up your work area or add some new decor to your classroom. What celebration is complete without food? Eat some tacos to celebrate National Taco Day. Are you WONDERING yet, why our Education Solutions blog is focused on October 4th? The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) is celebrating the 8th birthday of Wonderopolis®! Wonderopolis was launched on October 4, 2010! The purpose was to inspire curiosity and inquiry. Over the past 8 years, over 2000 Wonders of the Day® have been posted. Questions have been answered across subject areas ranging from “When Was Pinball Invented?” to “What is Pascal’s Triangle?” and from “What is a Pangolin?” to “Are All Letters Created Equally?” In celebration of Wonderopolis’ birthday, you are invited to explore Wonderopolis with your students and families this month!
- In classrooms, libraries, and adult education programs celebrate Wonderopolis by letting learners of all ages explore the Wonders of the Day. Take a look at Wonder #366 to learn “Why Do We Blow Out Birthday Candles?” Or read #1757 to explore “What is the Birthday Paradox?”
- Make our birthday wish come true! Share your wonders. Students of all ages need to know and use the question words (Who? What? Where? When? Why? And How?). Encourage students to be curious and generate their own wonders in the form of questions. Add them to Wonderopolis through the Wonder Bank. Your questions might become the next Wonder of the Day!
- Focus Parent Time activities on how to use Wonderopolis at home. Model for parents how to find and do some of the “Try It Out” activities. Help families make their own Wonder Jars to encourage wondering offline. Help families understand that asking questions and being curious is positive- even if they do not know the answers!
- In out-of-school time programs, consider using Camp Wonderopolis. Five different versions of Camp are available to help young people explore science, health, technology, and more. There are STEM projects that can bring hands-on learning into your program.
- For more ideas on how to incorporate Wonderopolis and inquiry-based learning into programs and classrooms throughout the year visit the Wonder Ground, the support network for educators using Wonderopolis.
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
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