Call for Proposals

The Families Learning Conference is coming to Dallas October 25-27!

Each year, the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) enlists the country’s family engagement pros to present best practices, strategies, and resources to help families succeed in accomplishing their educational and economic goals.

NCFL is seeking proposals reflecting highly interactive and engaging presentations that include strategies or materials attendees can use right away in their classrooms or programs.

This Call for Proposals closed at 11:59 pm PST Thursday, March 25.

Before beginning your application, add to your email provider’s list of safe senders to ensure you receive notification about your application. Preview the application by clicking here.

2020 applicants: If you submitted a proposal in 2020 for the cancelled 2020 Families Learning Conference, you may choose to keep your existing proposal application as-is, modify it, or withdraw it from consideration. You may also submit a new application. If you submitted a proposal in 2020 and do not withdraw it, we will consider it for 2021. Click the APPLY NOW link to log in to application software and review/modify your existing application. 

Jump down to: Key Dates // Presenter benefits and agreement // Presentation details  // Selection criteria // Strand information // Information about our attendees

Key dates:

March 1, 2021: Application opens
March 25, 2021: Application closes
May 2021: Applicants notified of acceptance
May 21June 4, 2021: Presenters indicate their commitment to present
Mid-June 2021: Presenters notified of date/time for presentation
August 20, 2021: Presenters must be registered for Conference
October 1, 2021: Hotel room block expires
October 11, 2021: Deadline to upload digital presentation materials for Conference mobile app

Lead presenters receive:

Lead presenter agreement:

Presentation details:

Selection criteria:

Your proposal has the best chance of being selected if you:

Strand information:

While education solutions for families are many, this conference and the selected presentations will focus on education solutions that touch all members of the family. Presentations that focus on multi-generation learning within programming and that are relative to family literacy, family learning, and/or family engagement are encouraged. To maximize your chance of selection to present, please submit a proposal that meets one of our focused content strands:

Adult Education

Presentations in this strand will focus on adult education that is connected to family-focused programming, building upon the premise that when parents increase their own education and skills, the entire family benefits. Adult education classes provide foundational skills to help students gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be successful in the workforce. Family literacy/learning programs can meet this need through helping adult education students build their human and social capital through adult basic education classes and Family Service Learning projects. New federal changes within the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) have shaped adult education programs and may be a focus in this conference. Presentations may include such topics as: learner diversity; adult English as a second language (ESL) classes; GED® preparation; literacy education; adults supporting children’s education; college preparation; building strong technology skills that support education and work goals; and getting a job or gaining skills to pursue a better job.

Early Childhood Education

Focus your session topic in this strand on early childhood education (birth to age 8 years) that connects to family literacy/family learning programming. Children are an integral part of the family literacy/learning process. In traditional family literacy programs, preschool children come to school alongside their parents to prepare for kindergarten. Some family literacy programs focus on the elementary students so that parents can better support their older children’s academic achievement. Preschool classrooms in family literacy programs focus on children’s language and literacy skill development as part of the kindergarten readiness curriculum. Teachers are trained to provide high-quality early childhood experiences, interactions, and instructional practices that meet early learning standards. Suggested topics within this strand include guidance about: instructional strategies, curriculum implementation, engaging parents, teamwork, collaborating with adult education, language and literacy strategies, innovative early childhood practices, assessment to instruction, children with special needs, dual-language learners, child outcomes, program impacts, and more.

Family and Community Leadership

This strand is specifically dedicated to parents, caregivers, and families who are committed to making their schools, communities, health care providers, nonprofit organizations, and other entities more responsive to and supportive of children and families. NCFL welcomes the submission of proposals that feature inclusive and informative practices for family leaders. The most impacted community members—parents and caregivers—should be the key informers of policy and programming practices at all levels of decision making. When parents and caregivers shift from engagement into leadership and are positioned in decision-making roles, programs have proven to yield better outcomes. Suggested topics for this strand include parent advocacy, shared leadership, language inclusive practices, community outreach planning, power and asset mapping, and strategies for parents and caregivers to engage other parents and caregivers.

Funding and Sustainability

As obtaining funding becomes increasingly competitive, family literacy and learning programs must develop strong, long-lasting partnerships that will sustain their efforts. To do so, programs must communicate their messages of success with both impact data and family stories that reinforce the benefits they provide to the community and the value of services provided before, during, and after they seek funding. In this strand, focus your proposal on the target audience of program directors, librarians, communication coordinators, development coordinators, and/or community-based organization staff. Suggested topics within this strand include funding opportunities on the national, state, and local levels; collective impact approaches to funding; resources to identify funding opportunities; grant-writing best practices and resources; communications planning; using data to tell stories; and ways to showcase programs.


Libraries, both individually and in partnership with schools and other organizations, have traditionally provided a wide range of literacy services to their communities. Sessions in the library strand should focus on strategies libraries and/or their collaborating organizations have developed to provide successful two-generation programming. Suggested topics within this strand include recruiting and retaining families for ongoing programming, extending resources by identifying community partners, and innovative strategies for finding and reaching people who aren’t able to attend traditional in-library programs.

K-12 Education

Presentations in this strand will focus on family engagement in K-12 education. Children and young people are more successful when their families are engaged in their schools, in at-home learning activities, and in the broader community. Two-generation learning programs, such as family literacy and Family Service Learning, bring families into the classroom and invite them to participate in project-based learning. Additionally, schools and educational organizations can use a variety of strategies to engage families in deep, meaningful ways that move beyond attendance at school and community events. Sessions in this strand will focus on innovative practices for K-12 practitioners centered on the following topics: building relationships with families, increasing positive communication, utilizing volunteers, supporting at-home learning, involving families in decision-making, and targeting hard-to-reach families. Proposals that target innovative classroom practices and instructional strategies related to literacy, STEAM, inquiry-based learning, integration of technology, cultural competence, and social-emotional learning will also be considered.

Research and Policy

Sessions that focus on current topics of educational research and policy have long been an integral part of NCFL’s national conference. NCFL welcomes the submissions of proposals that feature the outcomes of research-based program studies and outside evaluations of family programs, particularly programs with a two-generation focus such as family literacy or family learning. In addition, research studies that connect directly to any of the conference content strands are strongly encouraged. These include: Adult Education, Early Childhood Education, Funding and Sustainability, Library, K-12 Education, and Parent Leadership. Policy presentations that also make these direct connections to the conference strands are encouraged.

Information about our attendees

1000+ attendees located across the US and abroad

52% of 2019 attendees had 10 or more years of experience in the education field

In 2019, conference attendees shared the following as their primary work categories:

Attendees come to the Families Learning Conference for:

Share best practices from your community while highlighting your organization to a national audience.  Apply to become a Families Learning Conference presenter!

Before beginning your application, add to your email provider’s list of safe senders to ensure you receive notification about your application. 

Terms Selling or promoting products is not allowed during the sessions. **Presenters are required to register for the 2021 Families Learning Conference.