Improve literacy achievement at early-age will be realized through sustainable support and strong structures for a quality literacy instructions

The UIC Center for Literacy and the UIC Center for Urban Education Leadership (, supported by funding from the Steans Family Foundation, are creating a leadership community of practice among the principals of eight Chicago Public Schools in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago.

The goal of the project, titled Lawndale Leaders 4 Literacy (LL4), is to enhance the organizational capacity of each school to:
(1) improve student literacy achievement, Preschool-Grade 3
(2) build structures to sustain the impact of the project on the quality of primary grades literacy instruction


LL4L is doing so by creating a leadership community of practice among the school principals focused on putting in place systems and structures that support high-quality early literacy instruction by establishing teacher learning processes as a part of daily practice. The focus involves principals’ coordinating various organizational units within their buildings—grade level teams, the literacy program across grade levels, and the school as a whole—that improve student learning outcomes by supporting improved instructional practices and family engagement.

Principals focus on their own edges of growth as leaders of literacy programs. They are also addressing the context of their program/school within the larger school system (CPS or charter) to take the greatest advantage possible of what the LL4L initiative offers, together with the affordances of their school system to build systems and structures that support enhanced student literacy growth.