Mission: To close the literacy achievement gap between disadvantaged children and their more affluent peers.
About the Organization: Launched in 1988, the Children's Literacy Initiative works with pre-K through fifth-grade teachers to improve early literacy instruction so that children become powerful readers, writers, and thinkers. According to the organization, a teacher's literacy instruction plays the most critical role in a student's reading development — itself a strong predictor of a student's future academic success — yet few teachers receive adequate training. CLI builds lasting literacy competence in teachers and principals by helping them learn high-impact instructional strategies and nurturing professional learning communities, and works with school districts to support sustained improvement.
Current Programs: CLI offers content-focused coaching to educators, one-on-one and in small groups, with demonstrations and feedback designed to help incorporate effective literacy practices into their daily work with students — including co-teaching, observation, modeling, and ongoing support during the implementation phase. The organization also provides classrooms with curated collections of high-quality children's literature and other learning materials that are important to successful literacy instruction, while its Blueprint curriculum provides detailed lesson plans for pre-K teachers. In addition, the organization's leadership development and sustainability services for school and district leaders include regular team meetings, reviews of progress, and group trainings with other participating principals around effective early literacy leadership.
CLI also hosts workshops and seminars for teachers on a range of topics, including early literacy instruction, family engagement, and pre-K activities.
Website: Visitors to the CLI website can learn more about the organization's services and impact on students and teachers; browse the Literacy Education and Resource Network (LEARN), which offers videos and downloads illustrating best literacy instruction practices; and/or keep up to date with developments through the CLI blog.
Funding: The Children's Literacy Initiative is supported by individuals, foundations, corporations, and government grants.