What is Toyota Family Trails?

Toyota Family Trails is an adventure brought to life thanks to a partnership between the National Center for Families Learning and Toyota. All parents —regardless of socioeconomic or educational level — can help their children succeed in school and in life. Family Trails inspires families to learn together through adventure in the ultimate classroom: the world around us. When parents spend time learning and exploring with their children, they support and extend their child's learning beyond the classroom, setting them up for greater success in school and in life. The stories you'll find on FamilyTrails.com and shared with #FamilyTrails are created by a diverse community of families who are learning together through exploration - in all 50 states and around the world.

What is NCFL? What role does Toyota play in Family Trails?

The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) advances literacy and education by developing, implementing, and documenting innovative and promising practices, networks, and learning tools that benefit all families. We address our nation's literacy challenges by engaging all family members in learning, with a primary focus on parents and children living in poverty.

Family Trails is made possible thanks to the generous support and funding of Toyota.

What is PACT Time?

Pioneered by the NCFL, Parent and Child Together (PACT)® Time happens whenever and wherever parents and their children make time to learn together. This quality one-on-one time not only supports literacy and learning, it enriches the relationship between children and their parents. PACT Time can take many forms, from reading together at bedtime to cooking a meal, wondering aloud on the hiking trail to visiting a local park as a family. Learn more about PACT Time here.

As a nation, we need to make the most of the time parents have with our children, with the 7,800 hours children spend out of school each year (compared to 900 hours in school). Families — no matter the composition — are the one constant across a lifetime of educational experiences, but family engagement in education doesn't happen on its own. NCFL supports families learning together, bridging the gap in education that often exists between school, home, and community.

How do I become a Family Trails Guide? Who can submit stories?

Becoming a Trails Guide is as simple as submitting a story to our website. We invite all kinds of families and adventures - big and small - to share. You never know how your story could connect with and inspire another family in the same boat. We encourage Trails Guides to share - parent and child interactions and exchanges - to highlight learning through adventure, not just trip itineraries. What kinds of things did you and your child discuss? What did you learn? Why was this adventure meaningful?

Trails Guides participate on a volunteer basis, and in return we promote your story on our website and social outlets, as well as send some Trails goodies your way.

Interested in becoming a Trails Guide? We're happy to hear it. Submit your Family Trails adventure story using this form. Our team will be in touch to let you know if your story is chosen for publication.

Need a little inspiration? Click here to check out past Trails Guides and their family adventure stories.

I don’t live in the United States. Can I still submit my story?

Yes, we accept stories from all over the world! Click here to submit your story.

How can I be featured in Trails Mix magazine? Can I buy a copy of Trails Mix magazine? How often does Trails Mix magazine come out?

Trails Mix is a quarterly digital magazine published by Family Trails. Typically, the magazine features content from families regularly engaged with Family Trails on social media. If you have a story or angle you would like to submit for consideration in an upcoming issue of Trails Mix, please submit your idea here.

Currently, Trails Mix is only available in digital format. We do have plans to offer a printed version soon, and will update with a link when this option becomes available.

Visit our Trails Mix section to subscribe.

What hashtags do I use to tag Family Trails?

The official Family Trails hashtag is #FamilyTrails. We also have a monthly photography challenge on Instagram and provide unique hashtags you can use to participate in each month. Check out more about our social themes below.

What are the social themes?

Each month, we issue a new inspiration challenge to families. The monthly social theme may come in the form of a visual prompt, question, or activity, and will always be designed to spark family exploration, adventure, and learning.

We collect the best of the best to share via social, the Family Trails website, and in Trails Mix magazines. In order to participate. look for the monthly challenge prompt on Instagram.

You can also check out the Monthly Theme rules and guidelines here.

Can I download the Family Trails illustrations and print them?

Family Trails illustrations are available for download in our Resources section.

I don’t want my image used. Who do I tell?

Family Trails regularly shares and reposts user-generated images that participate with #FamilyTrails that embody the spirit of Family Trails. If you would like your image removed from our site or social channels, please send an email containing a link to the post to contact@familytrails.com, and we will be happy to address for you!