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Transforming a Generation: 90% Literacy by Third Grade
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Dee Hollenbeck, Lenora Ritchie, Laurie Pedersen, Indian River County Lawyers Auxiliary, Tami Haffield, Dr. David Christiansen, Milli Wenzel, ann prince, Kayla Chitty, Dorothy Cominsky, Marisela Luna, parker hammond, Carolina Rojas, Gifford Youth Activity Center, Chuck Evans, Lesley Lane, Renee Lincoln, Kelli Mejia, Sterling Bobbitt , Rebecca Blair, Kaori Fischer, Nancy De La Hoz, Jill Truax, Jennifer Croom, Bobbie Donelson, Mike Gaudio, Jeff Miller, briana carter, Mardy Fish Children's Foundation, Lisa Wheeler, Teri Dugan, Tisa Blidgen, TLA, Ramon Echeverria, Yasmin Medina, keesha trusty, FRAN PERKINS, allene moorehead, Elaine McGinty, GoldenTabs VlNDAmqBXuOUgPSzn, -1' 1, Kerilyn Ngom, Heather Quigley, Celeste McWilliams, Ashley Farruggio, janice pagan, Kay Yurigan, Heidi Lourie, sabrina fraga, Cheryl Gondek, Jayne Becker, Sophie Wood, ruth darrigo, Indian River County Chamber of, Amber Petry, Clare Hughes, JOY VANHORN, Narda Pitkethly, shelby dorris, Christy Baer, Harvest Food & Outreach Center, Amanda Emanuel, Taylor Walker, Kelly Palmer, Autumn Wheeler, Andrea Cosner, Nancy Prizito, mardy hall, Hayley Gondek, Patrick Toole, Erica Thomas, Kimberly Robideau, Laura McGill, Joy Lukomski, Healthy Families, Doug Glenn, Stacey Klim, Leslie Connelly, Ramon Echeverria, jennifer jackson, Jeff The Bro, Carrie Spencer, Angel Maldonado, Deirdre Creech, tommy collettit, GEORGE JETT, Randall Hunt, Stacey Fletcher, Thomas Moore, Crystal Gothe, Karen Disney, mary kannapes, uritayay, Whole Child Indian River, East Coast Earthworks & Excavating, Traci McGough, 1 1, Emilia Jacobs, maria miranda, ISABELLA LAGGES, Bill McMullen, Annie Brown, Annie Brown, Achillies Pace, Ralph Autullo, Isabel Marron , Erin Hollander, Nancy De La Hoz, Michelle Chandler, Amy Speak, Fidelity Investments, Brittany Bailey, Kathleen Nealy, kari broomell, Janet Alford, JIM BATORY, shelby dorris, Bent Pine Golf Club, Emily Wick, Guillermina Walker, Hope Woodhouse , audrey colonna, Ana Renuart, Maria Ortiz, Sandy Hamrick, Kelly Palmer, audrey colonna, Karen Taylor, Nancy Blessing, Hollie McDougall, Mindy Lessem Pollack, tommy collettit, Rhonda McGilberry, Melinda Judson, Milli Wenzel, Becky Allen, Mark Farrell, Carol David, Nancy Blessing, Alaina McCloud, Mary Laquidara, Mary Graves, Christina Hayes, jorge luis ramirez, Megan Falcone, Kerilyn Ngom, Christopher Cummings, Tabitha Johnston, Teri Dugan, joshua poindexter, Michele Sternberg, Gabrielle Wagner, Katie Collier, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc., Wendi Adams, Vero Equine Riding Academy , FELLSMERE ELEMENTARY, Lisa McFaland, Ann Mathis, Tanya BRAUN, Diane Mahan, Kathy Minix, Raquel Searcy, Christina Lindgren, Devi Maharajh, 1 -1', buzz wurzer, Brenda Zamora, Elizabeth Stenger, John obrien, Kim Brady, belinda washimgton-davis, Melody M Englert, DOE-OEL, donna palmquist, Nicole Piontek, Margaret Dawson-Brown, Cynthia Jorgensen, Angel Maldonado, Becky Warren, Leslie Jones, 1 1, Sara Goodman, LaTanya Gibson, Elizabeth Falkiewicz, Lorri Dior, Sherry White, Tiffany Carlsen, Diane Donar, Jessica Cox, Angela Bosman, Melissa Hall, Shannon Gillen, Mary Strickler, Kelli Mejia, Rhonda McGilberry, Susan Del Tufo, Tessa Stanley, Michelle Bass, Toni Reukauf, test test, VBKA, Susan Rosier, Lucy Roy-Delapaz, F.A.C.T. Fellsmere Action Community Team, Debra Barnesd, hannah kaufeh, Heather Helton, Michael Van Houten, Keondra Eberhardt, Annie Brown, hannah kauferh, Mark yBzNyaFpSKdSM, Matt McManus, Carla Cundiff, Socorro Luna, Suzi Rusin, Tricia Boyle, Kirra OBrien, Ralph Sunshine Acquisitions, Susan Del Tufo, Ramon Echeverria, Tiffany Justice, Theresa Wagner, Juelie Perry, Sonja Phillips, Barbara Johnson, Amy Kelly, Laura Zorc, Linda Hammerle, Keith Touchberry, Fourth Quadrant Partners, Katherine Wolf, mardy hall, Pamela Miller, Tessa House, Sandra Daniel, Christine Sturgeon, Jeanne Prince, Shawna Carton, Rebecca Turner, Sharon Klein, Lilibeth Ballina, Di Pugh, The Buggy Bunch, Mary Ann Kalin, Teri Barenborg, Nancy Sparkman, kayla poindexter, Tammy Eriksen, Courtney Mellin, Debra Schroeder, Lydia Galbraith, Jennifer Steele, Lillian Marsiglia, Clare Hughes, Vero Beach Magazine, Angela Jawhar, Gisele Parker, Lisa Segroves, Sue Sharpe, Beth Livers, Emily Jarrett, Cathryn Miquelon, Kristen Jones, Janie Graves Hoover, Maureen Nicolace, Amanda Stevens, Marta Cronin, Tirso Moreno, Brittany Lindsey, Kidz Closet Charities, Edward Shanaphy, Linda Condit, Bridgette Diskin, Karen Newkirk, Kathleen Hamilton, Krishna Patel, charlene bentien, Kevin Maloney, Jody Houston, Literacy Services, SHARYN A HAWKER, Kim Klaus, jennifer roker, Susan Aguirre , Cindi Ellis, Marie OBrien, Tara Luton , Margaret Autullo, Katrena McMahan, Vero Beach Museum of Art, Therese Victoria, Andrea Cosner, Louis and Sara Smith, Alejandrina Micket, Robyn Bethel, Patricia Beaudoin, Nate & Kristen Bruckner, Tina Campbell, Phoebe Beacham, LaTanya Morgan, Lisa Bishop, carrie fernandez, Deborah Dillon, Tracey Barker, Gretchen DiVincenzo, LaTanya Morgan, -1' 1, Natalie Arbuckle, Sharon Klein, United Way of Indian River Co., Sherrie Hale, Boys & Girls Clubs of Indian River County, Maria Alvarez, Marsha Van Arman, Kelley Williams, Vero Beach Museum of Art, yaquelin andrade, Adam Faust, Indian River Taekwondo Langlois, Mari Seg, Fellsmere Police Department FPD, Elizabeth Pinkney, Samantha Breen, Renee Boesch, Kathryn Woodall, Emme Scheible, jacki decaro, Farrah Lemanski, JIM BATORY, Arianna Lagges, Fenia Hiaasen, Helene Caseltine, Isabel Marron , Kristin Culbreth, Donna Hedgecock, Matthew McManus, cheryl gondek, sharon butler, Nichole Harris, Kenny Carmichael, Paige Newinski, Christina Lindgren, Dorie Shemo, Becky Levesque, Janai Cooper, Helene Caseltine, Liane McMullen, Dean Stewart Photography, Shariea Shoatz, Vero Beach Police Department, valerie conway, Susan Rosier, AmeriCorps/Big Brothers Big Sister, Mary Anne Sitkowski, Dorie Shemo, Heather Thompson, Elias Medina, renee fraker, Gloria Luna, Page Woodward, Patricia Mandell, Susan Rosier, Rachel Holpfer, Karen Malits, Elizabeth Pinkney, Nicolas ospina de la hoz, 1 -1', 211/Help Me Grow, Judy Whalen, Patricia Mandell, Gloria Severino, Agnieszka Szymanska, Gina Sultaire, Brooke Flood, STEPHANIE CLARK, Kaori Fischer, Bruce Green, Tara Miranda, Arlene Kahn, Jennifer Roberts, Diane Bressner, matt KdPIOvmNNItBy, sharon richards, Kathryn Perez, Fidelity Investments, MAry Grace Hektner, Sharon Delo, Karen Newkirk, Kristina Trahan, Liz Tetreault, ggdxfg fdgfh, Heidi Lourie, judy jones, Cathy Durrett-Filusch, Rose Brickles, liz woody, Kristi Challenor, Casey Dunn, Kelly Sartain, Jenna Chatfield, Sharon Klein, Shanti Sanchez, Heather Young, Ronda Weaver, Kim Klaus, Lori Nalls, Amanda Acker, Michele Smith, Dr. Connie Proskovec, kelly baysura, Lisa Guilmette, Heather Thompson, Barneyxcq yWxcSpFGWvTabbVDxz, yaquelin andrade, Donna Hedgecock, Megan Falcone, Jennifer Durrett, elizabeth bahl, Christine Ryall, Dasie Hope Center, Susan Del Tufo, Mary Kramek, Pamela Prange, Lisa Guillette, Janet Farmer, maria marron, Susan Del Tufo, Lisa Barnum, Jamie Stalter, Elizabeth Tetreault, Jennifer Seifstein, Christy Baer ,

Moonshot Community Action Network Summit

Nearly 200 community leaders gathered for the triennial Moonshot Community Action Network (MCAN) Summit on Oct. 31 at the First Presbyterian Church in Vero Beach.

The collective spent the morning engaged in discussions focusing on the imperative: What does it take for Indian River County's community leaders to operate as a high performing team such that we lead the way, are stronger together, inspired and unstoppable in taking a stand for our children and thereby fueling our community's economic vitality?

“I am the proud mom of two sons who are in college now; but when they were in kindergarten, they were failing kindergarten. The teacher didn't know why and I didn't know why,” explained Barbara Hammond The Learning Alliance (TLA) co-founder and CEO. “The agony and the ecstasy of being a parent started this journey.”

Of the impetus for this movement, Hammond explained. “I co-founded The Learning Alliance with some other parents about nine years ago to try to help our children. We realized what was a problem for our children was also a national problem. This set us off on the path to get 90 percent of all kids reading on grade level by third grade.”

“Taking a stand for early education is what we're about. The school district can't do it alone. The Learning Alliance can't do it alone. It takes all of us in the community,” explained Hammond.

To give attendees a clear picture of the importance of early literacy, TLA event organizers took attendees on a journey beginning at birth with insights from MCAN members and representatives from local nonprofits invested in children.

Ray Oglethorpe, past president of AOL, TLA chairman, and Moonshot Moment founder placed a high value on education and was dumbfounded to discover that in the United States 65 percent of third graders cannot read proficiently. “If you can't read by the end of the third grade, you only have a one in six chance of ever catching up. That's a staggering, shameful statistic to allow so many young people to fail so early in their life.”

Further, explained Oglethorpe, illiteracy is both a societal and economic issue. Of those 65 percent that cannot read proficiently, two-thirds of them will either end up in prison or on welfare at some time in their life.

As someone who didn't learn to read until she was in the eighth grade, Judi Miller, Big Brothers Big Sisters CEO, can attest firsthand to the importance of literacy. Fran Adams, retired School District of Indian River County superintendent shared the history of TLA and MCAN, noting the parallels between Kennedy's space challenge in the 60s and TLA's Moonshot Goal.

“This was our nation's Moonshot Moment. It was a challenge met. A journey made. And it took Moonshot thinking. Our challenge in this community and our Moonshot Goal is to have all children ready to learn when they enter kindergarten and 90 percent of our children reading on grade level by grade three,” said Adams.

MCAN representatives shared stories about the impact their collaborative efforts are having across the community from the Healthy Start Coalition's push for literacy at birth to Childcare Resources early education programs and the Education Foundation's support of schools to Tykes and Teens efforts to address mental health. The spectrum of touchpoints throughout a child's first 3,000 days of life are crucial to create a society of literate, productive members.

To reach the summit of literacy and achieve the Moonshot Goal, the entire community must work together. Liz Remington, TLA co-founder and director of professional development said, “We are empowering an engaged community.”

After becoming familiar with the work that's already being done in the community, attendees participated in breakout sessions, taking deep dives into areas identified as being crucial to the collaborative's success. Issues discussed were businesses as investors in the mission, mentoring opportunities, the relationship between the arts and literacy with lagoon-related tie-ins, book distribution, professional development, community models and faith-based support.

MCAN member Wanda Lincoln wrapped the morning up saying, “I'm here because I'm an advocate for children. Many in our county are already doing amazingly good work. Our community today is at a tipping point, and every one of us needs to decide, ‘Are we going to become a mecca for children and literacy?’ No more excuses; let's do it.”

For Jeff Smith, Clerk of the Court, the summit was a real eyeopener. While he's having difficulty finding qualified help, Smith said. “I didn't know the extent of the problem. The Summit did a good job of explaining how in-depth the problem is and what's been done so far to attempt to rectify it.”

Smith was impressed with the number of different organizations that were represented and said, “The only way we're going to accomplish anything is to work together instead of working independently and not having a common goal to work toward.”

For Smith the realization that “It took nine years from the time that President Kennedy announced we were going to go to the moon until we actually did it is the same timeframe from birth to the end of the third grade. It really puts it in perspective.”

About The Learning Alliance

At The Learning Alliance, our work is predicated on the question: What does it take to achieve 90 percent literacy by third grade such that we create literate, compassionate, creative citizens who will improve our world? We are a catalyst for innovation and collaboration supporting the Moonshot Moment 90 percent 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 thelearningalliance.org or call 877-548-READ (7323).