According to the Nation’s Report Card, in 2013 only 34% of American 4th grade students are performing at or above grade level (NAEP, 2013). Proficiency drops even further for African-Americans (18%) and Hispanics (20%).



  • A low-income child has an 89% chance of going to college if they can read proficiently by third grade.
  • 83 percent of low-income students test below proficient in reading at the start of fourth grade.
  • A child who cannot read proficiently by third grade is four times as likely to leave high school without a diploma.
  • Individuals that don’t complete high school go onto to cost taxpayers over $292,000 compared to an average high school graduate.

When you contribute to Children’s Literacy Initiative, you join our cause with your dollars. We take very seriously our obligation to both you and our mission, and that means ensuring that as much money as possible is applied to services.

In fact, for philanthropists wanting to make a significant, long-term impact, the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for High-Impact Philanthropy identified CLI as an organization where charitable dollars can do the most good. Four key strengths were factors:

  • CLI results are externally evaluated.
  • CLI programs are evidence based.
  • CLI’s approach is cost effective.
  • CLI leverages public investments already made by increasing the productivity of existing teachers.

Our impact is also cited as an example of high return on investment in publications:

  • Profiles of Eight Integrated Cost Approaches to Measuring and/or Estimating Social Value, produced for the Gates Foundation by Melinda T. Tuan
  • Measuring the Value of Corporate Philanthropy, for the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, by Terence Lim, PhD.

Our low overhead makes it possible for 86% of our revenues to go directly to professional development for educators and books and resources for children.

You can be assured that we’ll use your gift in the most effective way possible. We carefully maintain accounting and auditing systems to make sure we’re keeping our promise.

A copy of our official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

CLI is committed to protecting the privacy of our donors, website visitors and others who communicate with us. A copy of our privacy policy is available upon request.

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