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Children’s Literacy Initiative Receives $19.5 Million Federal Innovation Grant

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 16, 2015 — Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI), a national nonprofit focused on strengthening literacy in early education, will receive nearly $19.5 million from the 2015 Investing in Innovation (i3 grant) competition from the U.S. Department of Education.

This is the second time that CLI has received a prestigious i3 grant. The award comes after a study from the American Institutes for Research found that the CLI professional development program for teachers has a measurable impact on student literacy outcomes. For example, study results demonstrated teachers who received CLI training had a significantly more positive classroom environment and kindergarteners with CLI-trained teachers performed better than 57 percent of their peers.

For thirty years, Children’s Literacy Initiative has been working with educators to transform literacy instruction. CLI will use this funding to expand its program into additional underserved school districts across the country to improve reading achievement for the project’s approximately 49,500 high-need students over the course of the five-year implementation. Additionally, CLI is aiming to substantially decrease the total per-student costs by 10 percent. CLI was one of 13 organizations receiving the award out of 400 applicants.

“Children’s Literacy Initiative is beyond excited to announce this generous federal funding,” said Joel Zarrow, executive director of CLI. “Building on the success of our 2010 i3 grant, this new funding will allow our organization to support teachers in additional districts across the country and help even more students learn to read in the vital years between Pre-K and third grade.”

CLI addresses teacher training and support, supplying classroom and relevant reading materials to schools using its program to ensure children can read by the end of third grade. The program has been implemented in hundreds of schools across the country and continues to expand its reach every year.

Through these grants, the i3 program continues to support local efforts to start or expand evidence-based programs that can transform the academic trajectory of students, educators and their schools. The i3 program includes three grant categories: Development, Validation and Scale-Up.

To help grantees enhance relationships at the national, regional, and local level, and in hopes of amplifying and sustaining the work, the i3 competition requires all grantees to secure private-sector matching funds; i3 Scale-up grantees must secure a private-sector match comprising 5 percent of their project budget.

To learn more about the i3 grant program, please visit the i3 site

About Children’s Literacy Initiative
Established in 1988, Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI) is headquartered in Philadelphia. CLI is focused on improving the American education system by ensuring low-income students can read by third grade. The program provides personalized, one-on-one teacher coaching, research-based literacy training, small group coaching, leadership coaching for principals and teacher-leaders and provides the books and materials classrooms need so that students can become powerful readers, writers and thinkers. In addition toPhiladelphia, the organization also provides services to school districts including Passaic & Camden, New Jersey, Chicago, St. Louisand Denver.

For more information, visit

Gabriella Miranda

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