School districts are critical partners for Children’s Literacy Initiative, as demonstrated in the successful launch of our Investing in Innovation (i3) Scale-up project in four urban school districts, including Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) in Florida, during the 2016-2017 school year. BCPS Superintendent of Schools Robert W. Runcie, and district leaders, quickly embraced our i3 project in seven district schools, as it readily aligned with existing early literacy goals and objectives within the district that were also supported by community organizations. “Ensuring our students have the skills they need to be independent readers by third grade is vital to their overall educational success,” said Superintendent Runcie at a September 2017 launch event.
Over the course of the year, supported by Superintendent Runcie and district administrators, CLI provided 140 kindergarten through third grade teachers with personalized, one-on-one teacher coaching, research-based literacy training, high-quality children’s books and other literacy materials. With the district’s enthusiastic backing, CLI’s Regional Manager in Broward developed a close working relationship with BCPS early learning leaders to ensure that our professional development stayed aligned with district and school goals. In addition, several members of the community-based Broward Reads Campaign for Grade Level Reading, including Children’s Services Council of Broward County, the A.D. Henderson Foundation and United Way of Broward County, became direct supporters of CLI.
As the first of what will be three years of our work with Broward teachers in the i3 Scale-up project drew to a close, Superintendent Runcie in June 2017 counted himself among CLI’s strongest supporters. “This year, the elementary school that made the greatest gains across the District is supported by CLI.”