Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) strategic focus on early learning and literacy is getting national support. On Wednesday, September 21, 2016, BCPS and the non-profit organization Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI) announced an exciting partnership and grant funding to support early literacy development in kindergarten through third grade students.
The announcement and kickoff celebration at Plantation Elementary School included School Board members, Superintendent Robert W. Runcie, CLI representatives, District staff and local community leaders, as well as reading activities by students.
Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI) is a non-profit organization focused on strengthening education in the United States by ensuring students can read by the end of third grade. In November 2015, CLI was awarded $19.5 million from the 2015 Investing in Innovation (i3 grant) competition from the U.S. Department of Education. CLI is using this funding to expand its program into four school districts across the nation, including Broward County Public Schools – the only school district in Florida chosen to participate.
As part of the CLI partnership, seven BCPS schools are receiving personalized, one-on-one teacher coaching, research-based literacy training, small group coaching, books and materials. The seven schools are: Charles Drew Elementary School, Forest Hills Elementary School, Palmview Elementary School, Pines Lakes Elementary School, Plantation Elementary School, Sanders Park Elementary School and Stirling Elementary School.
The Children’s Services Council of Broward County and the United Way of Broward County were also recognized during the ceremony for their financial support of this important initiative, through a matching funds requirement in the grant.
“Ensuring our students have the skills they need to be independent readers by third grade is vital to their overall educational success. Creating a strong reading foundation starts with providing our students high-quality early learning and literacy experiences,” said BCPS Superintendent Robert W. Runcie. “We’re excited about the opportunities that our CLI partnership and the ongoing support from our local community provide for the benefit our students and teachers.”
“Children’s Literacy Initiative and BCPS are up to something big. We will not only dramatically increase the number of Broward students reading on grade level by the end of third grade, but we will also demonstrate what great public school teachers can do when given effective support,” said Joel Zarrow, Ph.D., chief executive officer, Children’s Literacy Initiative. “The commitment of BCPS teachers and the leadership of Superintendent Runcie and his team are exactly why we sought them out as partners on the i3 initiative.“
The BCPS and CLI partnership builds upon the vision of the Broward Reads Campaign for Grade Level Reading, which unites local community partners in an effort to increase third grade reading proficiency for all children. Broward Reads community partners include Children’s Services Council of Broward County, BCPS, Early Learning Coalition of Broward County, United Way of Broward County and the Broward County Commission.
To learn more about the District’s partnership with CLI or Broward Reads, contact Dr. Lori Canning, BCPS executive director, Early Learning Language Acquisition, at 754-321-1953.
Pictured above (left to right): Dr. Joel Zarrow, Chief Executive Officer, Children’s Literacy Initiative; Howard Bakalar, Chief Program Officer, United Way of Broward County; Shea Ciriago, Director of Development, Broward Education Foundation; Laurie Rich Levinson, Broward County School Board Member (District 6), Dr. Lori Canning, Executive Director of Earl Learning Language Acquisition, Broward County Public Schools; Robert W. Runcie, Superintendent, Broward County Public Schools; Cindy Arenberg Seltzer, Chief Executive Officer, Children’s Services Council; Judith Pitter, Principal, Plantation Elementary School; Dr. Rosalind Osgood, Chair, Broward County School Board (District 5); Daniel Gohl, Chief Academic Officer, Broward County Public Schools; Fabian Cone, Director, School Performance and Accountability, Broward County Public Schools; and Beam Furr, Broward County Commissioner.
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Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest school district in the nation and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has over 271,000 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 236 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 101 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population, with students representing 208 different countries and 181 different languages. To learn more, visit browardschools.com. Follow BCPS on Twitter @browardschools and Facebook at facebook.com/browardschools, and download the free BCPS mobile app.