NCFL staffer, Jessica BorenNCFL’s conference planning team is working to build a great virtual event, and we’re so excited to connect with attendees this October 25-27. In this blog post, NCFL staffer Jessica Boren shares what makes the Families Learning Conference so special and what she’s looking forward to this year. Join Jessica and the rest of NCFL’s team at the Families Learning Conference! View registration options here.

Even before I was hired at the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL), I had heard about the annual Families Learning Conference. I was told that NCFL always brought great guest speakers and that the general sessions were always inspiring. I had high expectations going into my first conference years ago and I was not disappointed.

Not only does NCFL bring guest speakers who are extremely knowledgeable in their area, but NCFL also brings parents who have been impacted by its programming throughout the 32 years of its existence. I was truly touched to hear about how NCFL and communities around the country have helped parents to achieve their goals.

This year I’m looking forward to hearing from Monday Opening Session speaker Liz Cedillo-Pereira, chief of Equity and Inclusion for the City of Dallas, who will help attendees see how municipalities (and their partners) can advance equity, inclusion, and immigrant integration, particularly for families and children.

I’m also excited to hear from two parents who have participated in NCFL place-based programming, Adebusola Azeez from Kids U in Dallas during Monday’s Opening Session and Valerie Johnson from Crown Point Community School FACE Program, New Mexico during Tuesday morning’s General Session.

Attending the conference in the past helped renew my energy to continue to do my best to help families. I came back to work with many ideas—from icebreakers to use with parents to techniques and best practices in program design and implementation. Each session I attended was significant to my work.

This year, I am eager to learn from others how this pandemic has changed their families and programming. What should we change when implementing new programs? What are the immediate needs of our families and students? What is relevant now that wasn’t before?

I think we are all craving more knowledge and human reconnection. I hope anyone who works in family engagement, family literacy, education, evaluation, and program implementation takes the time to attend NCFL’s conference! It’s an opportunity of a lifetime.