Children's Literacy Initiative

Rating: 4.91 stars   11 reviews


2314 Market St Philadelphia PA 19103 USA


CLI''s mission is closing the gap in reading achievement between children in poverty and their middle-class counterparts. Effective literacy instruction combined with great children''s books is the heart and soul of CLI''s programs. The majority of children in the classrooms we serve are from economically disadvantaged families with little or no access to books. When we furnish classroom collections (up to 200 children''s books) and assist pre-K through 3rd grade teachers in literacy instruction, we work to give these children an essential tool for academic success and an opportunity to develop a life-long love of reading. Headquartered in Philadelphia since our founding in 1988, CLI has been funded by government and private grants as well as many generous individuals. Our clients have included the school districts of Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Newark, and Philadelphia.


In addition to our long-term projects for systemic change in Baltimore, Newark, Philadelphia, and other smaller school districts, CLI conducts numerous targeted projects from Atlanta to Boston to Chicago for school districts, individual schools, Head Starts, and childcare providers. We have conducted Institutes for Teachers and provided materials to Head Starts nationally. CLI offers a summer Institute for teachers in Philadelphia for second-year Teach For America teachers from around the country to help them learn effective classroom management. CLI provides: 1. Professional development for early childhood educators. This includes group trainings (Institutes, seminars, and workshops), one-on-one on-site coaching by our Professional Developers, consultations, and guided classroom visits. Our clients include teachers (including teachers from Head Start and Teach For America) and school district reading coaches. 2. Creation and maintenance of 51 Model Classrooms in typical schools serving low-income communities in 11 cities and 6 states. These classrooms provide opportunities for other teachers to see best instructional practices used effectively in classrooms like their own. Observing these successful classrooms serves to increase teacher expectations of students, a key factor in raising student achievement. Some of the classrooms also serve as coaching laboratories in which our Professional Developers can help school district coaches enhance their skills. 3. Our Blueprint for Early Literacy® pre-kindergarten curriculum, which has demonstrated extraordinary and consistent success in helping disadvantaged children acquire the skills they need to learn to read. We work to implement Blueprint and train teachers in its use in school districts, Head Starts, and childcare centers from Atlanta to Boston and from Chicago to the Shenandoah Valley. 4. Carefully selected collections of excellent children?s books to help create high-quality classroom literacy environments

2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Reviews for Children's Literacy Initiative

Rating: 5 stars  

Communication is at the heart of the human condition. If one has no confidence in that regard, one has little or no chance to excel in life. I know because it's what I do for a living. I communicate with people to gather news and I communicate with our audience by presenting it to them. Effective communication begins and ends with literacy. If you can't read well, you won't speak well and, most importantly, you cannot learn. The consequences are disastrous to any young person and we owe it to every one of them to present them with the greatest opportunity to make the most out of their lives. I was so lucky to be the son of two loving parents who read to me so often that they joke to this day how I used to interject during my favorite stories to tell them they missed one word! Unfortunately, far too many--millions likely--children aren't products of the same loving environment. They're school systems aren't well-funded and the combination is enough to seal their fate at a young age without help. CLI's mission is to provide that help. I can think of no better purpose than ensuring every disadvantaged child steps onto an equal playing field in the game of life.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Befriending a CLI employee who is honestly proud of her work. By all accounts it's an organization stocked with people who care deeply about their mission.

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One time

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