The National Center for Families Learning recently named United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona as the lead partner in the effort to make Tucson a 60×30 Family Learning Community.
With this announcement, Tucson joins NCFL’s bold vision for the future of family learning. In the months ahead, United Way will work alongside NCFL, local families, and other partners to develop a wraparound ecosystem that provides family literacy, engagement, and leadership opportunities to historically underserved and marginalized families within the community.
NCFL’s 60×30 vision builds on the organization’s legacy work in seeding family literacy programs nationwide while charting an ambitious new course. Moving beyond isolated programmatic endeavors, NCFL aims to establish coordinated and aligned family learning systems in 60 communities by 2030. Each system will be built with and for families and will prioritize the voice of children and parenting adults to ensure that those most impacted by inequities are included in developing solutions.
Each community will be part of the larger Family Learning Community Network, ensuring that all lessons learned are captured and disseminated to shape policy and practices and inform the national narrative on the importance of family learning systems as a driver of improved learning and economic outcomes for communities. Tucson joins Louisville and Frankfort, Ky. in the inaugural 60×30 cohort, with more communities expected to be added in the coming months and years.
“It’s an incredible honor for us to be the lead partner for this effort in Southern Arizona,” said Tony Penn, president and CEO of United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. “We know a collaborative approach, with those in need of service having a seat at the table, yields the most impactful results. NCFL’s strategy of implementing data-driven wraparound support is in true alignment with our mission of building a thriving community.”
To bring the 60×30 Vision to bear, United Way and NCFL will work closely with Literacy Connects, Make Way for Books, Pima County Public Library, and First Things First to amplify family literacy, family learning, and family leadership programs in Pima County that provide necessary services to families and support parents’ learning and leadership development. As this core team begins to consider the needs of families in the area, they will be welcoming other organizational partners to join this local effort to ensure equitable access to learning opportunities throughout the community.
“Tucson families, much like families all across the country, are facing urgent and significant challenges that deserve thoughtful solutions,” said National Center for Families Learning President and CEO Felicia Cumings Smith. “By signing on to NCFL’s 60×30 Vision, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona and its partners have demonstrated their commitment to solving these challenges. When we create the conditions for all children and families to thrive, we ensure that our communities thrive – strong families equal strong communities.”