National Initiatives

Supporting Families and Transforming Communities

At NCFL, we’re engaged across the United States in work that supports multigenerational family learning, aids in the professional development of educators and practitioners, and fosters unified, equitable communities.

National Collaboratives

Driving Possibilities

In 2022, NCFL and Toyota embarked upon the newest evolution of their 32-year partnership to accelerate educational opportunities within STEM literacies aligned to workforce readiness through Toyota’s Driving Possibilities (DP) initiative. There could not have been a better time in which to unite efforts, as NFCL was also preparing to launch its 60×30 vision to build coordinated Family Learning Systems in partnership with local communities so that they are more equitable, and so that all opportunities are possible for children and families. Together, our teams are working across Kentucky, Indiana, Mississippi, and Georgia to create educational systems that are inclusive, future-focused, and responsive to workforce demands.

National Literacy Directory

NCFL and Proliteracy partner together to provide the National Literacy Directory, which is made possible through generous, sustaining support from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. The National Literacy Directory assists potential students and volunteers in locating nearby educational programs and services. The Directory also supports literacy and education professionals through a learning network that provides the latest resources, research, and grant opportunities. This site strives to build a community that celebrates successes and explores innovative solutions to common literacy roadblocks.

SFEC Network

The Statewide Family Engagement Center (SFEC) Network, convened by NCFL and made possible by the U.S. Department of Education, is composed of SFECs across the country and works to advance family engagement partnerships to impact educational success. The network fosters the sharing of best practices and other forms of collaboration between SFECs while showcasing its resources and results across the country.

ALL IN

NCFL is a member organization of the Adult Literacy and Learning Impact Network (ALL IN). Formed in 2022, the organization is composed of national thought leaders from the adult literacy field and beyond, charged with carrying out the National Action Plan for Adult Literacy.

High-Impact
Multigenerational Programming

60×30

Our  60×30 Vision is to establish coordinated and aligned family learning systems in 60 communities by 2030, built with and for families, to increase education and economic outcomes and create more equitable communities. Family learning systems consist of deep learning opportunities in family literacy, family engagement, and family leadership. These systems of support create relevant, equitable, and accessible learning opportunities; build capacity; strengthen partnerships; and activate family leadership for children and families who are furthest from opportunity.

Family and Child Education (FACE)

Funded by the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) and designed as a family literacy program for American Indian families, FACE integrates language and culture to better prepared children on rural reservations for school. NCFL has had a strong partnership with the BIE for over three decades, and currently supports FACE programs in 54 schools across multiple states.

Arizona SFEC

The Arizona SFEC, led by NCFL from 2018-2023, worked with local partners to develop and implement a systematic, high-impact infrastructure of family engagement that improved student academic achievement, empowered parents, and increased the capacity of state agencies and organizations to provide high-quality family engagement supports for both parents and practitioners. Its work resulted in an improved continuum of evidence-based family engagement supports as well as twelve family literacy sites throughout the state that delivered evidence-based family literacy and engagement programming. Partners in this effort included Arizona Department of Education, Southwest Human Development, Read On Arizona, Make Way for Books, Unite for Literacy, and others.

Nebraska SFEC

Under the leadership of NCFL and in partnership with Nebraska Department of Education, Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, and others, the Nebraska SFEC works to improve academic achievement for disadvantaged students; empower parents of disadvantaged students with information and tools to make good choices for their child’s education; and increase the capacity of SEA, LEAs, and community-based organizations to provide high-quality family literacy and family engagement services. NCFL completed its first Nebraska SFEC grant in 2023 and received another grant to continue the work through 2028.

Colorado SFEC

Under the leadership of NCFL and in partnership with the Colorado Education Initiative, the Colorado Department of Education, the Black Parents Network, the Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition, and Colorado school districts, the Colorado SFEC works to provide an equitable, coordinated continuum of family engagement and leadership development to build the capacity of schools, families, and communities for improved student development and wellbeing. This is a five-year grant award launched in 2023 and ending in 2028.

North Carolina SFEC

NCFL was recently awarded the grant to lead the establishment of the North Carolina SFEC, with work to continue through 2028. NCFL’s partners in this work include Book Harvest, North Carolina Parents as Teachers, University of North Carolina Greensboro, and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The North SFEC will provide an equitable, coordinated continuum of family engagement support designed to build the capacity of families, schools, and communities to address COVID-19 learning recovery and improve student and family well-being.

Celebrating Excellence

Toyota Family Teacher of the Year

For 27 years, NCFL and Toyota have partnered to recognize educators from across the nation who use a strong multi-generational approach to learning and focus on building effective family-school partnerships that support student achievement and school improvement.

Sharon Darling Innovation Fund

The Sharon Darling Innovation Fund 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.

National Family Literacy Day® and Month®

November 1 marks the beginning of National Family Literacy Month®, and that day is also appointed as National Family Literacy Day®. Started in 1994 and trademarked by NCFL, the celebration seeks to spread awareness and foster family literacy by encouraging parents and caregivers to engage in reading and learning together. During National Family Literacy Month, various organizations, schools, and communities organize events and activities to raise awareness about the benefits of literacy within families. These activities often include reading events, book fairs, workshops, and programs designed to enhance the literacy skills of both parents and children. The focus is on fostering an interest and love for reading and learning and creating a supportive learning environment at home. The month also serves as an opportunity to highlight the interconnectedness of literacy skills across generations. Recognizing that parents and caregivers play a crucial role in children’s literacy development, National Family Literacy Month aims to empower families to integrate literacy into their daily lives, promoting a culture of learning within the home.

Our 60x30 Vision

Expanding Family Education and Equitable Communities Nationwide.

After 30 years of supporting families, our reach continues to expand through our 60×30 Vision. By 2030, we aspire to establish coordinated and aligned family learning systems in 60 communities across the country. These learning systems will be built by local families to increase education and economic outcomes, leading to more equitable communities.

Learn More
“JCPS is excited to be partnering with NCFL to extend classroom experiences into the home, collaborating with families to enhance deeper learning in science education. This work will build on our existing partnership with NCFL ensuring families are central to advancing learning outcomes. All of us continue to be impacted by sciencerelated challenges in our community, and students and families working together with educators will increase our collective learning and outcomes.”
Michelle L. Dillard
Jefferson County Public Schools

Building a Network of Family Learning Communities

Everything we do is about building capacity and creating opportunities for families. Yet many educators know, you know that what works in one community may not be best elsewhere.

This means our efforts aren’t done in isolation or through cookie-cutter approaches. Instead, we understand that it takes a team of local support to make the greatest impact.

With this in mind, NCFL operates a network of Family Learning Communities in partnership with local stakeholders and service providers. Each family learning community is tailored to a location’s unique needs and situations to maximize results across the country and support a better tomorrow for families.