Fall is Here

From the CEO - Joel Zarrow, Ph.D.

For those of us moved by the rhythms of a school calendar, fall is always a new beginning, a time of change. With summer break over, students are getting used to the classroom again and teachers are getting to know a new group of students. It’s an exciting time, with new challenges to meet, new goals to set, and new milestones to pass. This fall is a particularly exciting time for us here at CLI, not just because we’re finally back in classrooms doing what we love, but because this year we’re working with more schools than ever before, over 300 nation-wide, and providing coaching and resources to more than 6,000 teachers and over 100,000 pre-K through fifth grade students.


While CLI is hard at work doing what we do best, providing students the tools they need to become powerful readers, writers and thinkers, we are also expanding our outreach. We have doubled the number of schools we are working with in Broward County Public Schools in Florida. We have started a new partnership with Aldine Independent School District in Texas. The latest edition of our pre-K curriculum will be out this spring, with detailed plans to help teachers ensure pre-K children are ready for Kindergarten. With support from the William Penn Foundation, we are providing 24 cultural institutions in Philadelphia with training and guidance on how to best teach literacy in their programs. All this to say: it’s already a busy school year.

Even in the busy day-to-day of those big plans, we want to slow down and express our gratitude to you, our supporters, for allowing us to continue to pursue our mission. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without your generous support. As long as we have it, we will continue to help the students we serve become the powerful readers, writers and thinkers we know that they can be. Together, we can make an impact and make sure all students, regardless of income-level, have the gift of literacy.


Hispanic Heritage Month

With Hispanic Heritage Month just behind us, we wanted to highlight some of the books we use to teach literacy to the many pre-K through fifth grade multi-lingual students we serve. With books that engage everything from traditional songs, to treasured family stories, to poetry, to time-bending sci-fi, we’re sure you’ll find something memorable for your student this fall.
Check out the list here.


Spotlight: Raise a Glass for Reading in Chicago

Thank you to all of our generous supporters who joined us for the annual Raise a Glass for Reading event in Chicago this September. The event took place at Revolution Brewing and raised almost $20,000 for our Chicago programs. A special thank you to the sponsors of the event—Foley and Lardner LLP, Alpine, Illinois Tool Works, John Croll and Jamie Friedlander, Belinda Morgan, Kathleen Fox, Joyce Shin and Richard Leung, Holly Snow and Christopher Allen, and Lori Taylor—as well as all Chicago Advisory Board members, whose commitment to our mission made it a must-attend event to support education in Chicago. Without their support, this event wouldn’t have been possible.


New National Board Members

Sandra Louk LaFleur & Henri Crockett

CLI is proud to announce our two new board members, Sandra Louk LaFleur and Henri Crockett. Sandra Louk LaFleur is the Director of Social Change Initiatives at Miami Dade College. She has an extensive background in youth development, education, and social justice. Henri Crockett is the co-founder and president of the Crockett Foundation, a south-Florida-based non-profit that creates educational programs for south-Florida youth in an effort to develop leaders and improve the local community. CLI is happy to welcome both of their expertise, guidance, and commitment to education to our Board of Directors.


William Penn Foundation

The Informal Learning Initiative

CLI is proud to once again partner with the William Penn Foundation and its Informal Learning Initiative. The Informal Learning Initiative is a collaborative effort to bring new, engaging learning experiences to families across Philadelphia, with a particular focus on ensuring that families can engage with the city’s cultural assets, regardless of income level. CLI is proud to provide the necessary training and support to all partnered organizations so that all activities are designed with the best literacy practices in mind. Read about the Informal Learning Initiative here.


Gratitude Corner

CLI recognizes the following generous major donors for their recent contributions.

  • Anonymous (2)
  • Richard Berkman & Toni Seidl
  • Brook J. Lenfest Foundation
  • John Croll & Jamie Friedlander
  • Eden Charitable Foundation
  • Foley & Lardner LLP
  • Kathleen Fox
  • Maria and Frank Guyette
  • Holman Automotive Group
  • Joel & Sharon Koppelman
  • Belinda Morgan
  • Network for Good
  • Lilli Petruzzelli
  • Phillips 66
  • PTS Foundation
  • Holly Snow & Christopher Allen
  • Steans Family Foundation
  • Lori Taylor
  • United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey
  • Vert Charitable Trust
  • Walter J. Miller Trust
  • William Penn Foundation

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