EWA Site Visit to Powel Elementary

Last week in Philadelphia, Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI), hosted a morning site visit for about 20 reporters from the Education Writers Association (EWA) at Samuel Powel Elementary, one of CLI’s i3 schools. Like many of CLI’s partner schools, it is implementing CLI’s effective literacy practices to create school-wide culture of literacy. 

The day started with opening remarks from CLI Executive Director, Kelly Hunter, Ed.D. followed by a school tour guided by Principal Kimberly Ellerbee. She was first introduced to CLI as an assistant principal and was quickly impressed by the impact it made helping her teacher’s refine and grow their teaching practices.  
Ellerbee explained to reporters that CLI is embedded into her work as a principal, “This partnership means a lot to me personally, but also for the growth of the school. I have grown through our work with CLI because of the professional development I receive. ” CLI provides principals the guidance and tools they need to create sustainable change in their schools. 
Next reporters visited three different classrooms implementing CLI’s effective literacy practices and tools. They had the opportunity to observe a CLI Message Time Plus ® (MTP) lesson and observe the literacy environment and classroom culture.
After the visits, the three teachers fielded questions from reporters. One 1st grade teacher stated, “Prior to CLI I was more scripted in my teaching but now everything is connected throughout the day. For example, CLI’s Intentional Read Aloud and MTP reaches each student’s individual needs.” When asked to describe the change in student engagement CLI Model ClassroomTM teacher said, “I am so much more focused on my teaching to make it purposeful which allows the students to be more engaged.” The third teacher added, “I am more reflective about what I do and how I am teaching. I now have the opportunity to step back and reflect on my teaching. CLI allows teachers to go more in depth in their teaching; it is not just a check list.” 
It is evident through CLI’s partnership with Powel that a culture of literacy is present and creating a sustainable model of change.