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

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).