As a parent and education advocate, I believe the family is vital for a child’s educational success. That’s why I became involved with the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL).
They see families as a critical part of every child’s education. Even better, they help families become hotspots for learning. From the classroom to the dinner table, NCFL’s programs help parents and children move from where they are to where they want to be. I love this approach because I know that while my kid’s schools play an important part, what we do at home to continue their learning is equally important.
When I was asked to be an advisor to NCFL, I instantly said yes. That is why I want to tell you more about who they are and what they do.
NCFL views education as a family affair. Every parent is an asset; every family is a resource. Whether it’s reading on grade level or pursuing higher education, the results propel families towards achieving their dreams and our country towards success. It may not get talked about in the press much, but it is more important than ever.
While NCFL had me at ‘hello’, I’m more excited by the current evolution that they are going through.
Sometimes changing is necessary to stay true to your vision. Noting shifts in our ever-changing world, and even the language families use everyday (learning not literacy), NCFL changed their name to the National Center for Families Learning last week. While “Literacy” is an important term, it always felt too academic to me and not a word that gets used around the dinner table very often. Changing the last word in their name to “learning” leaves it much more open ended and I think will allow them to break through to more families. Plus, their name is now large enough to hold their dreams and full mission.
NCFL focuses on maximizing real-world situations as opportunities for learning. Our lives are demanding and our time is limited, but families can create their very own hotspots for learning in their everyday lives. We spend time in the car, at the grocery store and around the dinner table. Why not add a little fun, learning and wondering to all of them?
Earlier this year, I spoke with beneficiaries of NCFL’s work. They told me of the transformation NCFL made possible. From struggling to complete day to day to now excelling in higher education and careers, their stories have a common denominator: families learning together. NCFL has a wide network of educators supporting their efforts, too. From classroom teachers to librarians to pioneering thought leaders across settings, they all unify to meet families where they are and improve education together.
In honor of their new name and National Family Literacy Month®, NCFL is raising money to support literacy and learning in communities nationwide.
They’ve launched the Big Give for Families Learning, an online fundraising challenge. I’m thrilled to support an organization that’s not afraid to try new tactics, so I’ve joined the #NCFLBigGive. For this #GivingTuesday, please consider donating to help families learn together by clicking here.
I couldn’t write about NCFL without mentioning my personal favorite thing they do and that is Wonderopolis.
Every day, this website provides a different Wonder of the Day® — available to you and children you love free of charge. The Wonder of the Day focuses around high-interest subjects in the form of a question (such as “Do Your Taste Buds Change?” and “Why Is the Sky Blue?”), with a written passage that even reads to you, a related video, vocabulary words and more.
My kids and I have enjoyed many of these and I’ve learned that many teachers will use these in their classroom to spark wonder among the students, which of course leads to increased learning.
While I’m betting most of you have never heard of NCFL, I hope you can appreciate the work they do. With all the distractions our children have surrounding them, it is crucial that parents and teachers instill in our kids a sense of wonder and a desire to learn about the world around them. This is what NCFL is trying to do and I hope you will consider learning more about them, donating or simple sharing the great things they do!
Thank you and happy November.