Chicago Tribune Charities Donates to CLI

Children’s Literacy Initiative Receives $60,000 through Chicago Tribune Charities

Chicago, January 28, 2016 – The Chicago Tribune Charities, a McCormick Foundation fund has selected national nonprofit Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI) for a $60,000 one-year grant in support of the Chicago Early Literacy Project for elementary schools in the Little Village neighborhood.

“The biggest lever for improving our student’s educational outcomes is reading and writing by 3rd grade. It’s absolutely pivotal. To continue the improvements we are seeing in Chicago, we have to keep our students in front of effective teachers who have access to great materials and professional development. This grant from the Chicago Tribune Charities allows us to do just that.” says Joel Zarrow, CEO of CLI.

$1,000,000 was distributed to 18 nonprofit organizations across Chicago and the suburbs through Chicago Tribune Charities in this grant cycle. Chicago Tribune Charities, a fund of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, supports nonprofit organizations that help students from low-income families successfully transition through key stages in their academic career. One of the key stages they give focus to is reading proficiently by the end of third grade. Priority is given to K-3 children’s literacy programs that track student achievement and training programs which build capacity.

“We are grateful to our community partners like Chicago Tribune Charities,” says Mary List, Central Regional Manager. “When our students learn the critical reading and writing skills before 3rd grade, we set them on a path of academic success.”

About Children’s Literacy Initiative
Established in 1988, Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI) is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, that is focused on improving literacy instruction in public, charter and parochial schools to ensure that students can read by third grade. CLI’s program provides personalized coaching for teachers and principals, research-based literacy training, and the books and materials classrooms need so that students can become powerful readers, writers and thinkers. During the 2014-2015 school year, CLI served over 1,600 educators in 190 schools to benefit the reading achievement of over 40,000 pre-k to 3rd grade students.

About Chicago Tribune Charities, a McCormick Foundation Fund
In 1990 the Chicago Tribune expanded its support of helping those in need in Chicago and the suburbs and partnered with the Robert R. McCormick Foundation to establish Chicago Tribune Charities, a McCormick Foundation Fund. The fund is promoted, particularly its Holiday Giving Campaign, to raise funds from Chicago Tribune readers, the public and corporate donors. The Chicago Tribune and the McCormick Foundation pay all expenses ensuring that all donations, plus the McCormick Foundation match of 50 cents on the each donated dollar, are invested in the community. The funds raised support programs throughout Chicagoland that help low-income people have access to child & youth education, adult literacy, job training & workforce development and child abuse prevention & treatment programs. Since inception, more than $117 million has been distributed to make a positive impact in the lives of thousands of disadvantaged children and families in Chicago and the suburbs. To learn more about Chicago Tribune Charities, visit

About the Robert R. McCormick Foundation
The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is committed to fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic programs, Cantigny Park and museums, the Foundation helps develop citizen leaders and works to make life better in our communities. The Foundation was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is one of the nation’s largest foundations, with more than $1.5 billion in assets.

The McCormick Foundation’s Communities Program continues Col. McCormick’s legacy by partnering with media outlets, such as the Chicago Tribune, sports teams and philanthropic organizations across the country, to raise money and provide matching dollars which increase the impact of charitable giving. To learn more about the McCormick Foundation, please visit, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

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