PHILADELPHIA — Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works to improve early literacy outcomes, recently announced the addition of Frank L. Gettridge—a lifelong advocate for, and leader of, initiatives that advance education, policy and racial equity—to its Board of Directors.

Frank Gettridge received his B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Morris Brown College, as well as his M.S. in Child Development and his Ed.D. in Global Executive Education from the University of Southern California, where he wrote his thesis on CLI. He began his career as a preschool and 1st grade teacher before becoming a head start director. It was in Chicago where Gettridge blossomed as an educator and social advocate for education justice and equity. He became an Early Childhood Director at Jane Addams Hull House and Bright Horizons, and after that, he worked extensively in Chicago schools overseeing Preschool for All and supporting special education advocates, culminating in his role as Principal of Clara Barton Elementary School.


In his most recent experience, Gettridge was a program officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, where he oversaw the integration of national program strategies and managed a team of officers and administrative staff to support the Foundation’s efforts to address issues of inequality, including creating the conditions that help vulnerable children to achieve. In both roles, he sought to identify and address international, national and local issues regarding children, education, and social policy.

Currently, Gettridge is the Executive Director of the National Public Education Support Fund, an organization that supports national and international leaders in education philanthropy, policy, research and practice in order to advance an equity-centered vision for strengthening public schools. As a longtime leader in both education and social justice, Frank Gettridge’s expertise will help CLI keep equity, inclusion and social justice at the forefront when working toward its organizational goals.

“As a former principal who worked with CLI, I have seen the power of their work first-hand. I look forward to participating as a board member and ensuring more teachers and principals have access to the support they need to enable more kids to read and write on grade level,” Gettridge said.

“Adding someone with such an extensive history in education and social justice to our board is really exciting,” said CLI CEO Joel Zarrow. “Frank has been active in all levels of the education system, and even helped CLI get its feet on the ground in Chicago Public Schools. As we grow, his vision and guidance will be invaluable.”

As CLI’s programs continue to expand across the country, we are grateful for Gettridge’s commitment to our mission, and his passion for ensuring that all students are given the opportunity for success. This year, CLI is in more districts than ever before, working to ensure that all students not only have the materials and resources to learn to read, but to turn that skill into a lifetime of success. Frank Gettridge joining its Board of Directors is a welcome development and important step to further strengthen CLI’s work.


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