ELIZABETH, NJ — The national nonprofit organization Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI) and Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery in Linden, NJ are continuing their collaboration in an effort to enhance kindergarten readiness and foster a lifelong love of reading and learning among Elizabeth’s youngest students.
The collaborative effort is centered on CLI and Phillips 66’s long-standing goal to ensure that Elizabeth Public Schools’ prekindergarten (pre-K) students have the materials they need to become strong, kindergarten-ready readers.
Phillips 66 recently donated $25,000 to significantly improve the pre-K curriculum serving some of the district’s most at-risk students. Phillips 66’s contribution is a match donation helping support the development of a high-quality pre-K curriculum (in English and Spanish), field test it in 20 pre-K centers in Elizabeth Public Schools and Newark Public Schools in New Jersey, and statistically, significantly improve pre-K student learning.
In 2018, Phillips 66 donated $35,000 to deliver both coaching and CLI’s Blueprint for Early Literacy pre-K curriculum supplement to teachers in eight Elizabeth pre-K classrooms, five of which were within Mabel G. Holmes School #5 (located near the Bayway Refinery), and three of which were within Winfield Scott School #2.
Phillips 66’s most recent gift will leverage federal funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Education Innovation and Research (EIR) Program to support CLI’s 5-year project. This will enable CLI to revise its Blueprint for Early Literacy pre-K curriculum supplement into a comprehensive curriculum (including teaching literacy, science, math, and social emotional skills) that will help teachers deliver excellent instruction centered about best practices. Through a third-party, CLI also will evaluate the quality of the curriculum’s implementation and its impact on student learning.
“Phillips 66’s vision is to provide energy and improve lives, and we make it a priority to do so in the communities that surround our refinery. Helping our youngest Elizabeth pre-K students to be proficient readers is of great importance to us. Research tells us that early reading proficiency is very important to future success. Education and literacy support is one of four key focus areas of our company’s philanthropic giving,” stated Mike Bukowski, Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery Manager.
CLI CEO Joel Zarrow said, “We are grateful that Phillips 66, through the Bayway Refinery, continues to support our work to improve early learning outcomes for children in Elizabeth Public Schools.”