LOUISVILLE, Ky., Oct. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- November marks National Family Literacy Month®, a time to focus on the immense influence families have on a child's education, future success and well-being. To celebrate, the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) and 10 partner organizations are hosting community events throughout November in cities across the U.S. NCFL is a leader in family learning initiatives and has developed a two-generation solution to educational challenges that is being employed across the United States. Health, financial literacy, reading, STEM, and civic engagement are all a part of NCFL's groundbreaking family literacy programs.
The research is clear – having a strong support system in place can help children excel in the classroom and beyond. Challenges relating to literacy can be a barrier to creating an environment for children to thrive.
NCFL offers a forward-thinking, four part approach to two-generation learning. First, Parent and Child Together (PACT) Time® focuses on parents and children learning together. Second, parents also spend time learning on their own. This may include language skills or technology, such as becoming confident in using a computer resulting in that parent helping their child with homework. Third, family-to-family social networks are created through informal and formal mentoring opportunities. Parents helping parents navigate situations provides a powerful community building tool. Fourth, Family Service Learning projects help solve community problems and encourage civic engagement.
"When parents and children come together to learn and serve, relationships among family members, neighbors and communities are all strengthened," said Sharon Darling, president and founder of NCFL. "The time commitment is big, but families see this as a worthwhile investment."
One NCFL initiative – called Toyota Family Learning – empowers parents and caregivers, as well as their children, to become engaged in their schools and communities. During the 2014-15 program year, parents and children in the 10 partner cities spent nearly 17,500 hours learning together; 1,600 of those hours were spent doing 67 Family Service Learning projects. Nearly 80 percent of the families in the program were English language learners.
NCFL's independent evaluators at Penn State University found that among families graduating from Toyota Family Learning programs:
PACT Time events
Organizations with Toyota Family Learning programs in Bronx, New York; Cincinnati, Ohio; Denver, Colorado; Detroit, Michigan; Houston, Texas; Lincoln, Nebraska; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Providence, Rhode Island; San Mateo, California; and, San Pedro, California will mark National Family Literacy Month with events to promote health literacy, STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics)-based education, and Family Service Learning projects throughout the month. To learn more about these organizations and their events, visit ToyotaFamilyLearning.org/grantees and follow @NCFL on Twitter.
Free family learning resources
NCFL offers several free online resources for families to learn together in the areas of health, finance, and general curiosity, regardless of parents' educational background.
NCFL partners with educators, schools, community-based organizations, and libraries across the U.S. to help empower families to be more engaged in education and community efforts. For more information, visit FamiliesLearning.org.
ABOUT NATIONAL CENTER FOR FAMILIES LEARNING
The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping adults and children learn together. NCFL creates and deploys innovative programs and strategies that support learning, literacy, and family engagement in education. From the classroom to the community to the digital frontier, NCFL collaborates with educators, advocates, and policy-makers to help families construct hotspots for learning wherever they go. For more information on NCFL's 26-year track record, visit www.familieslearning.org
National Center for Families Learning
Guthrie/Mayes Public Relations, for NCFL
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SOURCE National Center for Families Learning