Children’s Literacy Initiative & American Airlines Partner to Get More Children Reading


American Airlines’ Cedric Rockamore, CLI’s Joel Zarrow & Janet Pinkerton

PHILADELPHIA, MARCH 16, 2016 —  Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in Philadelphia, and American Airlines, the world’s largest airline, are partnering to help more of the nation’s children read proficiently by third grade. Employees and executives on American’s Citizenship Steering Committee at the airlines’ Philadelphia International Airport hub recently awarded CLI an in-kind donation of 1,000,000 AAdvantage® miles to support the expanded delivery of CLI’s professional development services to kindergarten through third grade teachers in public schools.

CLI is accelerating its national expansion using a $19 million Investing in Education (i3) grant from the U.S. Department of Education that will span five years and serve 49,500 high-need kindergarten through 3rd grade students. CLI’s i3 scale-up project began January 2016. CLI will provide its validated professional development services to 33 schools in Broward County (FL) Public Schools, Denver (CO) Public Schools, Elizabeth (NJ) Public Schools, and Houston (TX) Independent School District. American Airlines’ donation, valued at $29,000, will count towards a $1.1 million required private private-sector match that CLI must raise for federally funded i3 project by April 1, 2016.

“American Airlines’ generous donation of 1,000,000 AAdvantage® miles allows CLI to travel with greater ease to the new school districts we will serve,” said CLI CEO Joel Zarrow. “It ensures that the bulk of our funding goes to program expenses, getting more teachers using what works in the classroom.”

Cedric Rockamore, Vice President of American’s Philadelphia hub operations, said, “Knowing how to read and write is a fundamental skill that every child needs to succeed in life. CLI’s proven track record in early literacy is what drew AA to this partnership. We look forward to building a lasting relationship with CLI here in Philadelphia.”

Established in 1988, Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI) is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, headquartered in Philadelphia, 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. Third party research has shown that CLI professional development model can improve both educators’ early literacy instruction and also student reading achievement.  Connect with CLI on Twitter @CLIupdates, on Facebook at and via

American Airlines and American Eagle offer an average of nearly 6,700 flights per day to nearly 350 destinations in more than 50 countries. American has hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. American is a founding member of the oneworld alliance, whose members and members-elect serve nearly 1,000 destinations with 14,250 daily flights to 150 countries. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AAL. In 2015, its stock joined the S&P 500 index. Connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir and at

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