Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI) kicks off work made possible by a $500,000 donation from Target, which will be used to expand CLI’s Model Classroom program in Chicago Public Schools and create an online professional development portal.
This contribution is part of Target’s commitment to helping more U.S. children reach the critical academic milestone of reading proficiently by the end of third grade. This fall specifically, Target is donating a total of $50 million to educators, schools and nonprofit organizations across the country to help ignite a love of learning among children.
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“We are thankful for Target’s commitment to ensuring all students are proficient readers by third grade,” said Kelly Hunter, interim executive director of CLI. “We know teachers are key in-school factors for success, and the online portal, along with our training, coaching and resources, help teachers by providing them with the knowledge to be successful.”
CLI works with pre-K through third-grade teachers to transform instruction so all students can become powerful readers, writers, and thinkers. It offers training and coaching for teachers, literacy coaches, and school leaders; provides children’s books to high-need classrooms and helps build each school’s capacity for professional development through its Model Classroom design, as well as ongoing coaching and training.
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CLI has worked with 250 Chicago Public Schools pre-kindergarten teachers since 2005, through both early literacy curriculum and the development of pre-K Model Classrooms.
The district’s long-term education plan places a priority on developing high-quality teachers, and CLI increased its work in the district last year through a $21.7 million federal Investing in Innovation (i3) grant.
The i3 grant allowed CLI to expand training and introduce more Model Classrooms in kindergarten through third grade in the same schools as the pre-K Model Classrooms.
Through these programs and others, Target plans to reach a total of $1 billion in giving to education, with a focus on reading, by the end of 2015.
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation operates 1,762 stores in 49 states nationwide and at Target.com.
Photo courtesy: Children’s Literacy Initiative