SOURCE: Children's Literacy Initiative

Millennium 3 Management

October 31, 2013 11:15 ET

Children's Literacy Initiative Names New Board Chair, Launches National Executive Director Search

Over Past Year, CLI Grew From Serving 124 Schools to 149 Schools, and 27,100 Students

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwired - October 31, 2013) - The Children's Literacy Initiative (CLI), a nonprofit organization that trains teachers to achieve adequate literacy education for children in high-poverty, high-minority school districts, by the third-grade level, today announced that Christine S. Beck has been elected chair of its board. The organization also announced that it has launched a national search to identify a new executive director to succeed Kelly Hunter, Ed.D, who has accepted a position as Director of Early Development and Learning Resources for the State of Delaware.

Ms. Beck succeeds David Bloom, Wealth Advisor for J.P. Morgan Private Bank, who will continue to serve as a member of the board. Ms. Beck has been a member of the CLI board of directors, since 2012.

Beck is a nationally recognized children's educator and advocate, civic leader and author. Over an eight-year period ending in 2011, she served as CEO of the Gesu School in north central Philadelphia. Recently, she co-authored a book, "Listen to our Voices," with eight 5th-through-8th-grade students at the school. The book explores the special academic and social challenges facing African-American boys in urban centers. Ms. Beck is also a current board member of Arthur Ashe Learning Center in New York, a founding member and former board member of the Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis Center, and a former board trustee of St. Joseph's Preparatory School.

"I am delighted to accept the board chair position at CLI," said Beck. "It's an organization that has played an important role, for 25 years, in improving the effectiveness of pre-K to third-grade education on a national level, with a special, recent emphasis on students in Philadelphia, Chicago, Camden and Newark, N.J. We must do everything we can to change the reality that one million American youths drop out of high school every year. Early childhood education and literacy can help reverse that trend.

"Over the past three years, under Kelly Hunter's leadership, we have emphatically demonstrated the strength of our model and significantly expanded our reach, including the number of participating schools, teachers being coached and students being positively impacted," added Beck. "In fact, since winning the highly coveted 'Investing in Education' federal grant three years ago, we have established 38 model schools for high-quality, early literacy teaching. Last year, CLI served 124 schools and approximately 24,600 students. Currently, we are serving 149 schools and approximately 27,100 students. We produce quantifiable results, teachers value our input, and the students are learning at a very gratifying rate.

"The successful leadership of Executive Director Kelly Hunter and former board chair David Bloom has created dramatic growth and momentum for CLI," said Beck. "Their creative commitment has paved the way for CLI to help more children become competent readers. We'll all do our very best to continue the momentum they've established. We anticipate completing our national search to identify Kelly's successor by February, 2014, and we look forward to further growth and effectiveness in our critically important mission."

Established in 1988, the Children's Literacy Initiative is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and provides personalized, one-on-one teacher coaching, research-based literacy training, small group coaching, and leadership coaching for principals and teacher-leaders. One of its most noteworthy partnerships is the Target Model Classrooms Program, funded by Target, the second-largest general merchandise retailer in the U.S.

CLI's operating premise is that early literacy ability predicts long-term academic and social success, and that the American educational system is failing to provide an adequate literacy education in high-poverty, high-minority school districts, jeopardizing our country's future economic health and national security. 

CLI currently serves 149 schools and approximately 27,100 students, across the country.

Pictured above, Christine S. Beck was recently elected to the board chairman position at Children's Literacy Initiative, a nonprofit organization that trains teachers to achieve adequate literacy education for children in high-poverty, high-minority school districts, by the third-grade level.

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Contact Information

  • Contact: 
    Cameron Voss
    Children's Literacy Initiative
    Tel: (215) 561-4676 ext. 113

    Jennifer Chapple
    Millennium 3 Management
    Tel: (215) 751-0140