Strong Partnership

Children’s Literacy Initiative’s work in Houston began after winning a highly competitive five-year Investing in Innovation (i3) Scale-up grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. As the highest-rated applicant, it allowed Children’s Literacy Initiative to expand to four new districts with high populations of English Language Learners, including Houston Independent School District (HISD).

We have expanded our work in Houston, and started a new partnership with the Aldine Independent School district in 2019.

2019-20 Houston Service Numbers

Schools Served
Books Distributed
Educators Served
Students Served

Best Practices for
Teaching Early Literacy

We build teachers’ knowledge of literacy content and pedagogy. Areas of focus include creating and managing the literacy environment, using data to drive early literacy instruction, English Language Learner and Pre-K instruction, guided reading and writing, and instructional read-alouds.


Coaching & Professional Development

We work with Pre-K through fifth-grade educators to strengthen instruction and create a culture of literacy. We provide one-on-one, grade level, small group, and leadership coaching.


Providing the Books &
Materials Teachers Need

We provide high-quality books at a range of levels and genres. Our collections appeal to students’ interests, genders, and cultures, and are aligned to state standards, while also ensuring a balance of genres, fiction, and non-fiction. Additionally, we provide white-boards for literacy instruction and home-like furniture to create cozy spaces where students can enjoy reading.


Empowering Early Learners

More Reaching Proficiency

Between 2015-16 and 2018-19, the percentage of students reaching proficiency in Children’s Literacy Initiative-served schools grew by four points compared to control schools which saw a decrease of four points during the same period.

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Fewer in the Lowest Tier

While the percentage of students in the lowest achievement tier decreased for both groups between 2015-16 and 2018-19, Children’s Literacy Initiative-served schools saw a larger decrease (4%) compared to control schools (2%).

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Educator's Evolution

We coach teachers — one-on-one and in small groups in the classroom — to provide them with demonstrations and feedback that will help them incorporate effective literacy practices into their daily work with students. Research has proven that coaches and mentors are found to be highly effective in helping Houston teachers implement new skills.

Check out the results from our latest survey of Houston teachers!

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Contact Us

Join the Children's Literacy Initiative Community and support our mission to ensure kids from any and every background have the opportunity to become powerful readers, writers and thinkers. Contact us and get answers to your questions. We want to hear from you!

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Influential Insights

The transmission of evidence-based practices can be a slow, steady, and social grind. To truly change practices, professional development should occur over time and preferably be ongoing. You have to understand an instructor’s existing norms and barriers to change. You have to understand what’s getting in their way.

Monthly trainings and guidebooks alone are not enough to improve instruction and student learning. Combining large and small group sessions, with the vital one-on-one coaching with teachers in the classroom is essential if districts want real changes in teaching practice. This approach provides them with demonstrations and feedback that will help them incorporate effective literacy practices into their daily work with students.

Our coaches are developing and strengthening teachers’ knowledge of early literacy and how to best support their students. This one-on-one approach allows teachers to feel supported and strengthens the relationship between the teacher and coach.


“My coach was very helpful. Time was used effectively and the feedback was helpful!”


“Children’s Literacy Initiative coaches provided insightful strategies and ideas to improve learning in my classroom."

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Transform Your
Early Education Community

You can overcome your district challenges, ensure your teachers are well-equipped with the best strategies and tools, and increase student success and teacher job satisfaction across your district. Start transforming your district today and fill out the contact form below.

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Open Books, Open Doors

Every child deserves the opportunity to achieve their dreams, and learning to read is a critical step in that journey. Meet the children we serve and see the impact of our work.

See the early learners we serve! >> 

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We help teachers, school-based coaches, principals, and district leaders implement strategies & systems for the continuous improvement of early literacy instruction.

Our proven theory of action is changing districts across the country. 

See what our partners are saying >>

Increasing Proficiency

Research has shown that 3rd grade students scoring in the lowest tier of reading proficiency are the most at risk for leaving high school without a diploma. In Houston Schools CLI has served for more than 3 years & the student impact is apparent.

We are transforming early education in Houston.

See How >>