Have you heard of it? Until recently, neither had I. The organization is called the National Center for Family Literacy and they have been around since 1989.

The NCFL states that: Literacy is at the root of a person’s ability to succeed, and the family is at the heart… and since 1989, we have helped more than 1 million families make educational and economic progress by pioneering – and continuously improving – family literacy programs. Our emphasis is on family literacy for a simple reason – study after study shows that family, home and community are the true drivers of a child’s education.

Consider this:

Children’s reading scores improve dramatically when their parents are involved in helping them learn to read.

Literacy is essential to success in today’s economy, now more than ever. The family literacy approach harnesses the strength of parent-child bonds to help those who are most at risk of failing economically, emotionally and socially. Family literacy ensures the cycle of learning and progress passes from generation to generation.

Additionally, the organization either funds or is in partnership with many worthwhile programs including:

Better World Books Community Book Drives — Better World Books has been a critical partner in NCFL’s fight for a more literate nation, raising more than $330,000 for our mission to date and $5.2 million for literacy and education overall. Better World Books has mobilized local book drives at more than 888 college campuses and libraries nationwide on behalf of NCFL.

Thinkfinity Literacy Network — Thinkfinity.org is a powerful educational platform that is shaping family literacy programs nationwide. On the Thinkfinity Literacy Network (TLN), visitors can access more than 55,000 free, expert-approved and researched-based educational resources for adult and family literacy practitioners, K-12 teachers and volunteers.

The Family Literacy-Community College Initiative — This initiative is exploring the unique partnership between family literacy programs and community colleges in promoting a continuing education for adult learners.

Whether you’re a parent, an educator, or a volunteer, it looks like the NCFL has plenty of resources to help you fight illiteracy in your community. Reading Horizons also has free tools to help you with literacy in your own home. Check out these sites and let me know what you think!