How Donations are Used
External Studies Show Our Approach Works
Philanthropists looking to make a meaningful impact want assurance that the non-profits they support are as effective and efficient as possible. Recently, two external evaluations proved that Children’s Literacy Initiative’s approach works: both the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy and the OMG Center for Collaborative Learning confirmed that CLI’s professional development program significantly improves literacy instruction and helps more students reach national literacy benchmarks.
The objective of Pathways to Student Success, a 2008 study by the Center for High Impact Philanthropy, was to identify where and how charitable dollars invested in education could do the most good. Their analysis identified CLI as the exemplar agent in improving quality early literacy instruction.
The Center for High Impact Philanthropy identified CLI as the exemplar agent in improving early literacy.
According to the study:
- CLI’s results are externally evaluated.
- CLI’s program is evidence based. Using the most current educational research, CLI rigorously examines results and uses lessons learned to further refine work.
- CLI’s approach is cost effective. According to the per-student cost/benefit analysis, our program costs $586 per-child (who otherwise would not read on grade-level) reaching literacy benchmarks.
- CLI leverages public investments already made by increasing the productivity of existing teachers, which has long-term, exponential effects, since one teacher will educate hundreds of students over his or her career.
Student test results in Philadelphia public schools also support the efficacy of CLI’s approach. Since 2005, CLI, with funds from the William Penn Foundation and others, has been collaborating with the School District of Philadelphia to improve kindergarten and first grade literacy instruction through the development of Model Classrooms.
The William Penn Foundation commissioned the OMG Center for Collaborative Learning to conduct a two-year study of the project, comparing kindergarten and first grade students in schools with CLI Model Classrooms to students in similar schools without Model Classrooms.
OMG’s study found that students in schools with CLI Model Classrooms consistently outperform their peers in the district’s literacy skill development assessments. The presence of one kindergarten or first grade Model Classroom in a school helps all students on each respective grade level improve their reading skills.
OMG has also found that the presence of CLI’s program in Philadelphia schools helps facilitate positive relationships between and among teachers and administrators. This finding is significant because teachers who are satisfied with their jobs are both more likely to stay, and more likely to continue improving their classroom practice. Schools that function as collaborative, professional learning communities invariably have better student outcomes.