More than 400 pajama-clad, slipper-wearing children and their families gathered at the Heritage Center, Fellsmere Elementary School and the Sebastian Boys and Girls Club for the fifth annual Moonshot Moment Family Pajama Pizza (and a Movie) Party hosted by The Learning Alliance to celebrate National Summer Learning Day.
In an effort to keep kids learning, healthy and safe this summer hundreds of groups gathered across the nation to celebrate National Summer Learning Day. The idea, according to the NSLA, which aims to reacha 2 million children nationwide, is to “promote awareness of the importance of keeping kids healthy and engaged during the summer.”
The motivation behind the event, according to the National Summer Learning Association is to show parents how to bridge the achievement gap that occurs over the summer by increasing access to high-quality summer learning opportunities to help stop the summer slide.
“Our Moonshot Community is all about taking a stand for children and early education,” said Marie O'Brien, TLA Manager of Digital Media and Moonshot Outreach. “We know that learning doesn’t stop in the summer months, and this annual event is always a fun way to encourage and celebrate summer learning.”
It was a full day of summer learning in Indian River County as the Moonshot Rocket launched the festivities with stops at Sebastian and Vero Beach Elementary School day camps to spread the “word” that learning is fun. More than 250 children participated in activities and crafts promoting vocabulary and comprehension tied to social-emotional skills; took part in the national read-aloud of “Trombone Shorty.”
In the evening, TLA hosted about 200 guests at the Heritage Center to enjoy a pizza dinner while the children’s minds were engaged with enriching social-emotional. Children ages 4 to 12 spread out their sleeping bags and settled in for the fun family event, which celebrated that in our Moonshot Community, every moment is a learning moment - even in summer!
The children's bellies were filled with pizza, and their minds were engaged with enriching social-emotional learning focused on feelings. They made tambourines so they could create music along with the NSLA National Read Aloud of “Trombone Shorty,” a book about New Orleans musician Troy Andrews.
Later, Vero's own Dorian Bridges shared a spoken word, rap poem about compassionate problem solving before guests settled in to watch an entertaining movie about the five emotions that vie for control of a child’s mind.
“We brought back the pajama party theme, and this is the first year we added a movie to the festivities. We had a fantastic turnout at each site and look forward to supporting the community with family events where every moment is a chance to learn,” said O'Brien.
The Learning Alliance coordinated and hosted the summer learning celebration in collaboration with the Indian River County Main Library, School District of Indian River County, Fellsmere Action Community Team, Boys and Girls Clubs of IRC, the Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative and Literacy Services of IRC.
“Summer Learning Day is an annual reminder that summers matter, and if we want our children to do well in the school year ahead, our communities need to ensure that students get the supports and services they need to continue growing and thriving over the summer,” said Barbara Hammond, The Learning Alliance, CEO.
About The Learning Alliance:
At The Learning Alliance, our work is predicated on the question – What does it take to achieve 90% literacy by third grade such that we create literate, compassionate, creative citizens who will improve our world? The Learning Alliance is a catalyst for innovation and collaboration supporting the Moonshot Moment 90% literacy transformative goal by arming front-line educators, parents, and community leaders with the tools, knowledge, and support necessary for success. Through innovative, evidence-based approaches to teaching and learning, we empower teachers to transform children’s lives. Through partnerships with the School District of Indian River County, Indian River State College, community leaders and civic youth organizations in our community, we hope to create local solutions that can serve as a model for the nation.
For more information about The Learning Alliance, please visit www.thelearningalliance.org or call 877-548-READ (7323).