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

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.