The latest news from the National Center for Families Learning.
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Line on Family Literacy

Month Year

Inside this issue
Families Learning Summit: Get a backstage pass to the Smithsonian and meet the author of Wonder
An Inside Look: STEAMing hot family engagement
Learning Spotlight: Research reveals promising family learning practices
#deSTEMber brings 31 days of Wonder and fun to families

Families Learning Summit

Get a backstage pass to the Smithsonian and meet the author of Wonder

National Museum of American History

The Families Learning Summit is excited to announce a special partnership with the Smithsonian Institution for this year’s conference in Washington, D.C., on February 17-19, 2014.

Featured Sessions with the Smithsonian’s educational experts will provide:

  • An illustration of the museum’s free digital resources that were designed to help children and adults learn about cultural and U.S. historical moments;
  • A discussion on how to engage young learners in history content;
  • Comprehensive review of online educational resources available to classrooms, programs, and homes; and
  • An overview of Smithsonian affiliate museums in communities across the country and how to connect with partnering schools, organizations, and museums.

The Families Learning Summit is also offering a complimentary (registration required) field trip for advocates, educators, and families to the nation’s most respected learning hub: Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Attendees will be given special access to museum features and a first-hand perspective of museums as resources for family engagement and learning. You can read more here.

R.J. PalacioTo add to this exciting news, NCFL is also proud to announce the addition of young-adult author R.J. Palacio to the esteemed, diverse list of speakers and attendees joining NCFL in the nation’s capital.

The author of New York Times bestseller’s Wonder will be joining the likes of keynote speakers Holly Robinson Peete, Annie Murphy Paul, and Chris Lehman.


An Inside Look

STEAMing hot family engagement

What do a robot and its educator-musician-composer-software designer owner, a librarian, a performing arts company, and a family engagement program have in common? For 2013 Toyota Teacher of the Year Carolyn Blocker, this was just the right combination for kicking off her big idea for engaging families—an innovative STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math) project funded by her award.

“We would have never had this opportunity without the award,” said Blocker. “The project has already made an amazing connection with parents; the award has given attention to a program that does so much for so many.” read more»

Do you know a teacher who deserves an “A+” for engaging parents, children and educators in the learning process? Nominate him or her for the Toyota Family Teacher of the Year Award and the chance to win $20,000 for their school or non-profit program. Click here for more information and to apply.

Learning Spotlight

Research reveals promising family learning practices

The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) announces the release of Toyota Family Literacy Program Research Project, a meta-analysis of high-performing family literacy programs in a variety of communities/cities across the U.S. NCFL invited seven cities that have shown exemplary development and implementation of Toyota Family Literacy Programs to participate in unique research projects. The research projects represent a culmination of data collected over the course of program implementation and identified positive outcomes related to the program itself, program participants, and program staff. The participating cities are located in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, and Florida.
Through the research projects, NCFL sought to identify positive outcomes for parents and children, as well as for teachers and other program staff, as a result of family literacy programs. Data collection ranged from scores on standardized assessments and surveys to focus groups, personal interviews, or document review.
Click here to read the compendium, Toyota Family Literacy Program Research Project.


#deSTEMber brings 31 days of Wonder and fun to families

This month, Wonderopolis is teaming up with Girlstart for #deSTEMber, a month bursting with STEM learning activities.

On December 17, Wonderopolis hosted a live science experiment and classrooms across the nation tuned in using Google Hangouts. In case you missed it, view the fun experiment by clicking here.

There are plenty more engaging STEM activities left in #deSTEMber - check out the calendar today!
In the News
New data reveals compelling electronic media usage trends among Hispanic families
This month NCFL and the Center on Media and Human Development at Northwestern University released data related to reading and electronic media use in Hispanic households with young children. Overall, the study reveals that Hispanic family homes see media consumption as a valuable opportunity to support the learning experience outside the classroom. View the full document»
The Washington Post
The link between early childhood education and PISA scores
In early December the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) results were published — which showed that American 15-year-old students are nowhere near the top on the 2012 math, reading, and science tests. The results also showed the connection between early childhood education and the top-performing PISA nations. Read more»
Join teachers and parents from across the nation for the next #WonderChat on Twitter
Mon., Jan. 6, 8-9pm ET 
Learn ways to use Wonderopolis as a nonfiction text and other “wonder” nonfiction texts to help meet Common Core State Standards. Go to Twitter»
Digital Learning Day
Are You Ready for Digital Learning Day 2014?
Join NCFL and educators and advocates across the country in celebrating Digital Learning Day on February 5, 2014. Digital Learning Day (#DLDay) is a nationwide celebration of innovative teachers and common-sense, effective applications of digital learning in America’s schools that support teachers, improve learning, and provide options for students to achieve at their highest potential. Get involved»
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