Our Mission and Vision
By CLI’s Executive Director Kelly Hunter, Ed.D.
Imagine a classroom where students eagerly work together to complete assignments, where colorful student artwork and writing cover the walls, and where shelves of engaging and interesting books line an area filled with comfortable couches, pillows, and carpets to create a welcoming environment for children to curl up and read.
If you can picture such a classroom, one in which children can readily discover a lifelong love of reading and learning, then you can imagine an even brighter future: a world in which every child can read by the end of 3rd grade. That’s the strongest indicator of any student’s future success, but the reality is that in many of our poorest neighborhoods only one in three children meets this critical milestone.
At Children’s Literacy Initiative, we believe ensuring that all children have the same opportunities to succeed is a moral imperative, regardless of their background. Through our Model Classroom initiative, we train, coach, and provide resources to teachers in high-need schools; so they can provide a classroom environment that promotes engaging conversation about literature and critical thinking.
In a world where quick-fix solutions are all too often proposed as a cure-all for our education system’s problems, our coaching model takes time and patience. But it also works—independent research confirms that students whose teachers participate in the Model Classroom professional development program consistently have higher test scores than their peers who are not in CLI Model Classrooms™.
We used to say we were changing the world, one classroom at a time. But now, as one of a select number of organizations that have received funding through the U.S. Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) initiative, we’re helping entire schools transform their culture through coaching and other supports to ensure that each school community can sustain high-quality literacy instruction long after the grant is over.
Our work is challenging, exciting, rewarding—and absolutely critical. We hope you’ll take the time to learn more about CLI and what we do. Helping all children develop a lifelong love of reading isn’t just about school success—it’s vital for the future of our society.