National Center for Families Learning Announces Family Engagement Initiative for Head Start

Two-generation Family Service Learning effort will focus on improving outcomes for low income, ethnically diverse families

Jan 28, 2016, 08:44 ET from National Center for Families Learning

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Jan. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) announced a new initiative that will expand implementation of its latest two-generation family learning model into Head Start sites, with the goal of improving child and family outcomes for low income, ethnically diverse families.  

The two-generation project, funded by a $1,200,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, will put the family at the forefront of learning using NCFL's latest family literacy model—including its Family Service Learning approach— in five Head Start programs over the next three years.

NCFL will collaborate with the National Head Start Association (NHSA) to select and support the sites in 2016. The partnership will leverage the model as an innovative and effective way for sites to meet family engagement outcomes for the Head Start Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (PFCE) Framework

"We know that to succeed in today's world, children and adults need to learn in ways that are engaging and relevant to real-life situations," said Sharon Darling, NCFL's president and founder. "A large part of this approach does just that, extending powerful service learning benefits to families in the process. Family Service Learning is a six-step method that helps vulnerable families build problem-solving abilities and many other skills. This has major implications for both generations' employability—now and in the future." 

"We're proud to support NCFL's intergenerational project," said Felicia DeHaney, director of Education and Learning at the Kellogg Foundation. "We know that in order for children to thrive, they need a good education and that parents and caregivers can make a major impact on their child's learning and development."

Family Service Learning is the latest iteration of NCFL's two-generation family learning model, specifically for the Parent and Child Together (PACT) Time® component. This approach to community building, currently being implemented in 10 partner U.S. communities, has proven to empower families to create positive change in their own communities.

"We are thrilled for Head Start to have this opportunity to connect NCFL's model to the PFCE family engagement and child outcomes," said Yasmina Vinci, NHSA president. "It's a strategic and practical way to drive powerful parent engagement in what their children are learning."

About the 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 24-year track record, visit

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit


SOURCE National Center for Families Learning