NEWS & UPDATES

Reina Prowler Honored as one of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2022 CFOs of the Year

"I am proud of CLI's growth and our staff's commitment to living and breathing our mission, embracing the hard work that comes with that, and doing it all together. "

Reina Prowler, Interim CEO and CFO

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Children's Literacy Initiative, a national 501(c)(3) working to advance equity in public education, proudly congratulates Interim CEO and CFO Reina Prowler on her recognition by the Philadelphia Business Journal (PBJ) as one of their 2022 CFO of the Year honorees. This prestigious award honors chief financial officers for their adaptability and demonstrated success.  

Reina Prowler has worked at Children's Literacy Initiative for four and a half years as Chief Financial Officer, managing vital finance and human resource teams and functions. Her work and leadership have been essential to operational success, serving as a cornerstone in organizational transitions and decision-making. Reina was recently named Interim Chief Executive Officer, taking on additional strategic and operational responsibilities. We had the opportunity to sit down with Reina to discuss her PBJ CFO of the Year honor, her new role as interim CEO, and what inspires her work in early education and social justice.  

What are you most proud of during your time here? 

Working at CLI has been a gift because of our ability to work through challenges and support each other as leaders. In recent years, we have been more intentional in our approach in supporting teachers and leaders to ensure that the identities and experiences of Black and Latinx children in the classroom are centered and celebrated. This organizational shift empowers us to do the work necessary to do what's right for children. I am proud of CLI's growth and our staff's commitment to living and breathing our mission, embracing the hard work that comes with that, and doing it all together.  

What is your inspiration for working at CLI? 

There's a personal connection for me, as my children, Ellis, who is six years old, and Sylvie, who is three years old, are students in Philadelphia, where CLI was founded and where today, many of our coaches are located. As a parent, I am deeply committed to my children's learning, growth, and development. I believe in and have seen the pathway a quality education can carve out for an individual. However, due to systemic inequities, access to quality education is not equitable for all children. That should not be!  

Before working at CLI, I worked in the financial sector for many years. While I value my experiences and past accomplishments, my work at the time was missing something. Finance and business are great disciplines, but numbers alone don’t drive me, and I felt that I could offer more to the communities that I live in by bringing my financial knowledge to support the scale and growth of mission-driven organizations.  

I get to do that at CLI and being a part of this work is inspiring. I'm excited about our mission and what that means for our content development, coaching, and school implementation. I'm excited about the impact we can have on teachers, principals, students, their families, and communities. And I get to do some accounting along the way. 

What is your reflection as you take on the Interim CEO role? 

I am grateful to work with some truly amazing people who are holistically dedicated to our work. CLI is an organization of leaders whose commitment raises the bar for me. I want to continue hearing, elevating, and utilizing my colleagues' expertise and unique perspectives. We have so much creativity, vision, and innovation within our organization. And it's my job to help cultivate these voices to transform CLI. 

Our work goes beyond implementation. And to do it well, with heart and mind, it becomes part of who we are. CLI continues to grow, challenging ourselves to do the self-work necessary to transform early education the way we see it. And we are investing in this transformational work, providing essential support to our staff and partners for impact.  

As I transition to the Interim CEO role, I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead because I know that the infrastructure we are building, the ideas we are generating, the culture we are cultivating, and work we are implementing will be a cornerstone in transforming children's lives for years to come. 

What are you excited about in the next school year? 

I am excited to see our new Early Literacy Framework taking shape. Crafting the framework has been a cross-departmental effort, leveraging insights from across our business to build systems and structures to support coach development. And with these specific investments in our coach development, we look to broaden our impact across each region. In my new role, I will have the opportunity to visit schools and classrooms to see how we support and develop our teachers and coaches. I'm excited to see it in action.  

NonProfit Snapcast Interview w/Reina Prowler

Interim CEO and CFO Reina Prowler joined the NonProfit Snapcast to discuss various topics, including non-profit management during a crisis and how CLI is adjusting and supporting district partners during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Listen to the full interview here >>
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