I can honestly say I don’t recall a time I didn’t have a book in my hand as a child. I once got in trouble in fourth grade for reading a book during math. I am pretty sure it made Mrs. Park’s heart happy that I loved to read so much and, let’s be honest, the math gene in my family skipped me, so it all worked out. Reading has shaped my life, as I am sure is the same for many of you reading this post.
Just as we did last year in San Diego, the Sedgwick team attending RIMS 2017 in Philadelphia wanted to leave a lasting mark on the local community. Once again, it was my honor to represent Sedgwick in meeting and learning about the charity we would support this year.
We knew that donating both dollars and books to the Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI) was the right choice. I hope you will be moved to also find a way to support CLI after reading the statistics and hearing their story. If you visit their website, you will see that the cost of two cups of high-end coffee is enough to provide a high-quality children’s book to a classroom – one step toward improving literacy and combating the numbers they share, shown below.
It’s hard to believe that in 2017:
- Nearly two-thirds of children in low-income schools are not reading at grade level by the end of third grade.
- 44 million adults are unable to read a simple story to their children.
- 1 in 4 children grow up not knowing how to read.
- 85% of juvenile offenders have problems reading.
- 60% of all prison inmates are functionally illiterate.
Founded in 1988 in Philadelphia, CLI provides professional development to pre-K through third-grade educators. CLI offers a dynamic approach that provides teachers with training in a wide range of best practices in early literacy instruction that all lead to cultivating a love of reading in their students. During the 2015–2016 school year, CLI services reached more than 40,000 students in 1,666 classrooms across the country.
Frank Grossman of CLI talks in the video below about LEARN, to which Sedgwick's $10,000 donation will be directed, and about the lasting impact it will have on the lives of thousands of students. LEARN stands for Literacy Education and Resource Network and is a free, online knowledge management system that provides early-grade educators and district partners with modules offering lesson plans, checklists and video demonstrations, fully supporting early literacy professional development. Since its launch late last year, LEARN has already reached 7,673 teachers.
When we asked our colleagues, clients and other friends at RIMS 2017 if they were willing to do something tangible to support this great cause, the overwhelming response was, "Count us IN." So through additional donations, we were able to purchase more than 100 new books from a recommended reading list provided by CLI – and we were able to deliver and put them in the hands of local students immediately to help spark their love for reading.
After wrapping up another successful business week at RIMS 2017, we left Philadelphia knowing that Sedgwick's colleagues and partners will be a part of the long-term dividends our partnership with CLI will create. Materials provided by the LEARN modules will make an impact for children who will gain better reading skills now and help open up new opportunities for them far into the future.
“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.”
Jonathan Mast, Director of Social Media