Children’s Literacy Initiative Receives $15,000 Grant from Provident Bank Foundation for Early Literacy Project in Kearny, NJ School District

Provident Bank donate $15,000 for CLI Services in Kearny, NJ

Provident Bank Foundation presents $15,000 to Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI) for a Reading Workshop Instruction Project for 1st and 2nd grade teachers in Kearny, New Jersey, School District. Gathered at Garfield Elementary School for the presentation are, from left: CLI Regional Manager Sharon Weldon, District Director of Curriculum and Instruction Flora Encarnacao, Garfield Principal Curtis Brack, 1st Grade Teacher Kathy Alfaro, Provident Bank AVP/Banking Center Manager Fina Antunes, Kearny Schools Superintendent Patricia Blood, Provident Bank VP/Market Manager Laura Mendes, Provident Bank Foundation Executive Director Jane Kurek, 2nd Grade Teacher Clara Calienes, and CLI Assistant Regional Manager Gina Molinari-Schiano.

KEARNY, New Jersey (September 27, 2017) – Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization partnering with educators to improve instruction so more children read proficiently by 3rd grade, was recently awarded a $15,000 Major Grant from The Provident Bank Foundation to support CLI’s 2017-2018 Reading Workshop Instruction Project in Kearny, New Jersey School District, which will work to improve early literacy instruction and student reading achievement in the early grades in this Hudson County community.

“The Kearny School District is elated to have been chosen by The Provident Bank Foundation and the Children’s Literacy Initiative as the recipient of this major grant,” said Kearny Superintendent Patricia Blood. “It will assist us in enhancing our literacy instruction at the primary grade levels where a solid foundation for reading is so critical for student success.”

The project, which is also supported by district investment, will train an anticipated 38 Kearny first and second graders on the Reading Workshop instructional strategy and provide CLI’s one-on-one coaching to select teachers to strengthen their instruction so they can then serve as “models” for teacher peers.

“CLI’s Reading Workshop Instruction Project in the Kearny School District provides a unique opportunity, as it will not only impact those 38 individuals directly associated in the program – and the students who learn under them – but also the teachers who follow in their footsteps,” said Jane Kurek, The Provident Bank Foundation Executive Director. “CLI also shares our same values in that we both seek to improve quality of life for those in our community to ultimately drive economic development. We look forward to seeing the program’s deployment.”

“CLI thanks The Provident Bank Foundation for this catalytic investment in literacy instruction and learning in Kearny public schools,” said CLI CEO Joel Zarrow.

For more information about CLI, visit For more information about Provident Bank Foundation, visit or call (862) 260-3990.



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 to Philadelphia, the organization provides services to school districts including Passaic & Elizabeth NJ, Chicago, Houston, Broward County FL, and Denver. For more information, visit



The Provident Bank Foundation was established in 2003 by Provident Bank to enhance the quality of life in the region through support of not-for-profit groups, institutions, schools and other 501(c)(3) organizations that provide services in communities served by the Bank. Since inception, the Foundation has granted more than $22 million to not-for-profit organizations and institutions working toward stronger communities. For more information about The Provident Bank Foundation, visit or call (862) 260-3990.