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Where to Start

You've found yourself here for a reason. You are seeking the resources necessary to further your education or gain more employable skills. The National Center for Families Learning wants to support and encourage you on your journey.

Your community or surrounding communities will likely offer many services and resources (see below for descriptions of popular programs). The National Literacy Directory (NLD) will point you to nearby literacy and learning organizations close to you. In this directory you will find most organizations will offer free services and others can provide scholarships and childcare based on need. Some may charge a small fee to enroll or to cover supplies.

Most organizations listed will have a website or post information on a social media page that will help you know if it is the right organization for you. There are sites or social media pages are where you will find specific information about programs and classes, costs (if any), and how to contact the organization to learn more.

To get you started, here's an overview of common learning and literacy programs and what you might expect from each:

  • Early Childhood
    • Early childhood programs vary but they generally support children (ages 0-5) and their parents. Some programs are home-based, while others are in a more structured setting such as centers and schools. Children and families can receive a range of educational and social services that are designed to promote leadership and academic success.
  • Family Literacy
    • Family literacy programs help both children and parents improve reading, writing, and language through recreational and academic activities. Parents attend classes to meet their educational goals and learn positive parenting skills to help their children succeed. In addition, families are taught how to advocate for improved educational and community outcomes.
  • High School Equivalency/Adult Basic Education
    • Adult education programs provide career preparation and skill-building opportunities that can lead to high school graduation and college enrollment and/or employment. Course content can range from reading and writing to math, using computers, and learning parenting skills. Specific GED®, HiSET®, and TASC™ testing courses can help students prepare for high school equivalency exams in the following subjects: math, reading, writing, science, and social studies.
  • English Language Learning
    • English Language Learning (ELL)/English as a Second Language (ESL) programs generally provide English classes that help students learn to communicate at home, in the community and on the job.
  • Citizenship Classes
    • Citizenship classes help to prepare students for taking and passing the citizenship exam.

Hopefully this quick overview has helped you narrow down and find the services that are right for you. To get started finding literacy and learning programs near you, simply enter your zip code in the Directory search bar. A list of organizations will pop up. Choose an organization to contact or to learn more about their services.