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

Moonshot Moment Family Literacy Festival

There was a whole lotta reading going on at Gifford Middle School during the 2nd Annual Moonshot Moment Family Literacy Festival, a free event to celebrate and promote literacy and the joy of reading.

In the true spirit of community, Moonshot Community Action Network members, local churches, and nonprofits teamed up with The Learning Alliance to celebrate literacy and support the community’s goal for 90 percent of all students to be reading on or above grade-level by the third grade.

Families spent the day immersed in hands-on reading activities for children ranging in age from pre-kindergarten through middle school. According to event coordinator Michele Holiday, the key, was to expose parents to activities they could do at home with their children in minutes instead of hours. “A lot of parents don't have the knowledge to help prepare their children to learn to read. We wanted to equip our parents with activities that they could incorporate at home.”

This is a community-wide effort, according to Holiday. “No one should have to do this alone. We all need to work together to make our community stronger.”

Volunteers from throughout the community were on-hand to lend support. Children designed bookmarks, made book bags, matched alphabet beans, played sight word games, built sentences and wrote their own books. There were word-eating robots, a letter scavenger hunt, hopscotch word challenges, giant boggle and even a check-writing comprehension activity.

La'Niyah Pinckney was deep in thought as she worked on her book. The 9-year-old was writing a story about moving from Miami to Jacksonville. Her aspirations as an author are vast as she explained that she would be reading a poem about her mother's life in the Poetry Jam later in the afternoon.

“I like to read. This is a lot of fun, but it's important to know how to write and read so you can accomplish all kinds of stuff,” explained Pinckney. “You can't learn stuff if you don't know how to read and write.”

Retired educator and co-founder of the Churchill Center & School, Bonnie Wolfarth spent the day working with children at the Book Tasting table. “There is nothing more important than making sure that these children learn to read by the third grade. It's incredible what two moms who saw a need have been able to accomplish.”??Wolfarth noted that she believes The Learning Alliance and their Moonshot Goal has been so successful because they realized early on that they would need to address issues affecting literacy at an early age which makes events like the Family Literacy Festival so important.

Longtime literacy advocate, Carol Pinder said, “It's a blessing to be able to see these children happy and enthusiastic about reading. I am a life-long learner. Every day I learn something that I didn't know the day before. I tell the children if you read, you know things.”

Several guest authors were on hand sharing their books and promoting literacy through their passion for reading and writing. Author William T. Holt's books promote character-building through lessons he learned at his grandfather’s knee; Angela Thomas Peterson shared her love of reading through poetry and anti-bullying; and Tasheba Berry-McLaren's book “Space Station Elementary” was on point with her space-travel-themed book focused on “empowering the minds of students one planet at a time.”

The children worked up an appetite moving from one activity to the next, showing off their new-found literacy skills and were rewarded with pizza before settling in to listen as contestants offered up original poems during the Poetry Slam competition.

Dorrian Bridges took control of the mic reciting several of his original poems in hopes of inspiring young poets. Judges Shawn Frost, Tiffany Justice and Tosha Jones, had a tough time selecting a winner, but in the end, Vivian McFall took home the top prize for her poem, winning an iPad.

In addition to a new appreciation for reading, the children left with books in hand and parents took home a new selection of engaging literacy-based activities to help their children become better readers.

“Literacy is not just reading a book, it's so much more,” explained Holiday. “It's how you speak, how you communicate, what you write, what you say and of course what you read. We just wanted to expose our families, grandparents, parents, aunties and the kids to different activities that would not only be fun but help build their reading, literacy and communication skills. You can make these hands-on activities, and it is something that you can do together as a family.”

?To learn more about the Moonshot Moment Goal, visit moonshotmoment.org.