One third-grade student at Chicago’s Armour Elementary summed up our feelings about the exciting collaboration with Target and Chicago Public Schools. “I feel brand new!” he exclaimed after checking out a book from his classroom’s new home-lending library.
CLI’s i3 grant from the U.S. Department of Education allowed us to scale our signature CLI Model Classroom™ project to provide teachers with training, coaching, and resources that are helping transform the culture of their schools in Chicago and three other cities around the country. After seeing the program’s success in eight Chicago elementary schools, Target has made a major contribution allowing us to implement our classrooms in three additional city schools, including Armour.
“When we heard students that cannot read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school than a child that can, we felt compelled at Target to do more,” says Reba Dominski, Target’s director of education community relations.
Catalyst Chicago cited the partnership in a recent article, quoting city officials who were astonished by the level of reading and writing they saw in CLI Model Classrooms™. “The amount of writing kids are doing, writing about reading, is unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” Stephen Zrike Jr., one of CPS’ chiefs of schools, told Catalyst.
At CLI, we’ve seen the impact of our CLI Model Classrooms™ in cities across the country, and we’re proud to partner with Target to bring the power of transformative change to still more schools. Like us, Target understands that investing in teachers and giving them the resources and support they need to be successful is the strongest lever to improving a child’s chances of learning to read by third grade. And this, in turn, will help ensure a “brand new” future for countless Chicago children.