CLI Works With Teachers

Children’s Literacy Initiative & W.K. Kellogg Foundation Partner in a Significant Way

Philadelphia, Pa. — Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI), a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in Philadelphia, has been awarded a $250,000 grant by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Mich. Between June 1, 2016 to November 30, 2017, the grant will help to improve teacher instructional practice by providing an evidence-based early literacy professional development program to teachers and their high-need students in Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, and Texas.

In 2015, CLI was awarded the i3 Scale-up grant by the U.S. Department of Education to expand to four new school districts: Broward County (FL) Public Schools, Elizabeth (NJ) Public Schools, Denver (CO) Public Schools, and Houston (TX) Independent School District, reaching 49,500 more students from kindergarten to 3rd grade over the course of three years. As part of the i3 Scale-up grant, CLI was required to raise a 5% private sector match in funding. With the $250,000 grant, CLI achieved a significant milestone—meeting its match goal of $1.1 million.

“Like the Kellogg Foundation, CLI is deeply committed to the ‘optimal development of children,’ by improving teacher practice so all children read on grade level by 3rd grade,” said CEO Joel Zarrow. “The Kellogg Foundation’s grant of $250,000 will strengthen CLI’s work in all four i3 Scale-up districts with coaching and training as well as providing high-quality books and classroom materials to treatment schools.”

The Kellogg Foundation’s partnership will help bolster CLI’s project outcomes by annually improving literacy instructional practices and the reading performance of high-need students. As part of the i3 Scale-up grant, CLI also will create, launch, and sustain a Knowledge Management System (KMS) by 2020. This free online management tool will support “individualized adult learning” and will offer content on five core instructional practices identified by the National Reading Panel. It will be available to educators, school administrators, professional developers, and literacy coaches across the country.

CLI and the Kellogg Foundation first partnered in 2010 after CLI was awarded the $21.7 million i3 Validation grant to work with school districts in Chicago, Camden and Newark (NJ), and Philadelphia. “CLI is grateful for the Kellogg Foundation’s continued partnership as we expand to more school districts throughout the country,” said Zarrow. “CLI continues to nurture strong and stable partnerships that support our mission of improving literacy instructional practice so children can become powerful readers, writers and thinkers.”

“We are excited about our continued partnership with the Children’s Literacy Initiative,” said Joelle-Jude Fontaine, program officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “Key contributors to a child’s success in the classroom is an effective teacher as well as a supportive school culture and climate. CLI’s work will help to ensure that educators receive the professional development they need to help their students succeed.”



Established in 1988, Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI) is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, headquartered in Philadelphia, which is focused on improving literacy instruction in public, charter and parochial schools to ensure that students can read by 3rd 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



The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit

Leave a Reply