Basketball legend Michael Jordan selected national nonprofit Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI) for a one-time gift to support CLI’s work in Chicago Public Schools to get more city children reading proficiently by 3rd grade.

Jordan picked CLI as one of 23 Chicago-area, children-related charities to which he is making a one-time gift from his net proceeds from a recent settlement concerning the use of his identity. CLI provides teachers and principals with training and coaching in the most effective practices for early literacy instruction for prekindergarten through third (pre-k to 3rd) grade. CLI has worked in Chicago schools since 2006.

“I care deeply about the city of Chicago and have such incredible memories from my years there,” Jordan said in a statement. “Chicago has given me so much and I want to give back to its kids — the city’s future.”

He added, “I hope the donations can help these organizations continue to make positive changes within their neighborhoods and throughout the city.”

CLI CEO Joel Zarrow said, “We are delighted that Michael Jorden selected CLI from all of the possible charities serving Chicago’s children. He’s modeling for others how charitable giving can have the highest impact.” Third-party evaluators have found that CLI professional development can improve both teachers’ literacy instruction and students’ reading achievement.

“Michael Jordan is donating his money in an incredibly thoughtful way for the children of Chicago,” added CLI’s Chicago Regional Manager Mary List. “For CLI, Michael Jordan’s gift will help us leverage and deepen our existing work in the schools to continue to give Chicago children the rich learning opportunities they deserve.”

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