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IRC’s Moonshot Community Action Network Participates in National Literacy Events

The Learning Alliance Coordinated “JumpStart Read for the Record” and 18th annual “Lights on Afterschool Rally for our Moonshot Community.

The Learning Alliance (TLA) helped shine a light on the importance of literacy afterschool programs by organizing the “JumpStart Read for the Record” and 18th annual “Lights on Afterschool Rally” on Oct. 25 to celebrate children and reading and to support the Moonshot Moment Goal of having 90 percent of all students reading on grade level by the third grade.

An estimated 4,500 school-age children from around the county participated in activities at public elementary schools during the day. Moonshot Community Action Network partners included Dasie Hope Bridgewater Center in Wabasso; Indian River County Main Library; Buggy Bunch; Literacy Services of IRC; Big Brothers/Big Sisters of St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee; Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative; The Learning Alliance Moonshot Academy Afterschool Programs; Little Rising Stars Preschool; and Childcare Resources.

Some students were treated to VIP guest readers sharing the book “Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood,” while many also watched the first episode of “Moonshot Storytime” produced by The Learning Alliance and Karin Hammler, the School Disitrict’s District Reading/ELA Specialist. The new video series can be viewed here: youtu.be/aFD5caf858Y.

This true story, “Maybe Something Beautiful,” tells how Rafael and Candice López worked together to brighten their community through art and music by transforming dirty, dreary alleyways of the East Village in San Diego, Calif. into a beautiful celebration of life. The results – a community that banded together to create the Urban Art Trail.

The concept of afterschool supervision, tutoring, and enrichment isn't a new concept at the Dasie Hope Bridgewater Center where children receive afterschool help in a safe environment. Volunteers and staff work with the children to help them realize their potential.

Guest reader Valerie D. Evans has a special relationship with reading as the Liberty Magnet School media specialist. “Having someone model reading shows children how important and how much fun reading can be.”

After sharing the story and talking with the children at Dasie Hope about the amazing things that can be accomplished when people work together toward a common goal, the children created their own doves to carry on the message of peace.

“As we are working for Indian River County to become the literacy capital of the nation, it is natural that our Moonshot Community would participate in the ‘Jumpstart Read for the Record’ national read aloud and the 19th annual ‘Lights on Afterschool Rally,’” said Marie O’Brien, coordinator of the county-wide event and TLA’s manager of digital media and Moonshot outreach.

“It’s exciting that our county’s students enjoyed the book, “Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed A Neighborhood” during the day in our preschool and elementary schools and then in several afterschool programs celebrating extended learning opportunities,” added O'Brien.

“Lights on Afterschool” was designed to draw attention to the need for more afterschool programs to serve the millions of children nationwide who are unsupervised and at risk. More than 8,000 events across the nation emphasized the importance of "keeping the lights on and the doors open after school."

According to data from America After 3PM, there is a vast unmet demand for afterschool programs nationwide with one in five children spending time unsupervised after school.

Afterschool programs offer a wide range of activities and enrichment for kids, building on lessons learned during the school day and engaging in hands-on learning while under supervision. These children are physically active; engage with their peers; and receive support in the areas of reading, science, technology, engineering and math.

In Florida, 22 percent of children participate in afterschool programs, yet 46 percent would be enrolled if a program were available. More work needs to be done to meet the great need for afterschool programs that keep children safe, inspire them to learn and help working families.

“A lot of children wouldn't get the extra help they need if it weren't for afterschool programs like Dasie Hope,” said Verna Wright, Dasie Hope founder. “If these children didn't come here, a lot of them wouldn't get the help they need.”

About “Lights on Afterschool”

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is founding chair of “Lights on Afterschool,” a position he has held since 2001. The Afterschool Alliance is a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children have access to quality afterschool programs. More information on “Lights on Afterschool” is available at afterschoolalliance.org.

About “JumpStart Read for the Record”

Each year, school districts, libraries, nonprofit organizations, and communities join together to advocate for early education in honor of “Jumpstart’s Read for the Record.” From discounts on bulk orders of campaign books to being the first to know about campaign news and showcasing a logo on their website, it pays to be a Jumpstart partner. In addition to their campaign partners, they also select one publishing partner each year to help them offer the year’s official campaign book. To learn more about becoming a 2018 “Read for the Record” campaign partner, contact at rftr@jstart.org.

About The Learning Alliance

The work of The Learning Alliance is predicated on the question: What does it take to achieve our Moonshot Moment 90 percent literacy goal 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 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, they 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, they 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).