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Indian River Club uses their Head, Heart & Hands to support literacy.

The Indian River Club uses their Head, Heart & Hands to support literacy.

The Learning Alliance (TLA) received a $15,000 grant from Head, Heart & Hands, the funding arm of the Indian River Club.

The $15,000 grant directly funds a Third Grade Interventionist (3Gi) at Indian River Academy and supports TLA's mission to transform our community’s future and become a model for the nation by cultivating a culture where 90 percent of children read on grade level by the end of third grade.

This funding piggybacks on the relationship already developed between residents of Indian River Club and the Indian River Academy (IRA). Eighty residents regularly volunteer at IRA for more than 500 hours each month.

We're so proud to be partners with the Indian River Club. It's been vital for our school community to know that the community is behind us. We service about 500 students in this south county neighborhood,” said Diane Fannin, IRA principal, adding that the 3Gi helps these struggling readers to feel that they can read and feel confident.

We had 90 third graders last year; and with this extra help [the 3Gi meets with those kids five days a week for 30 minutes a day], only six students did not make it to fourth grade,” shared Fannin.

When Steve Sadlek, Head, Heart & Hands grant committee member, presented checks to several of the grant recipients, he said, “Five years ago when my wife and I were asked to make a donation to Head, Heart & Hands when it first started, I had no idea how much need was in our community. You folks are all to be lauded for every effort that you have put in.”

We're so thankful for the Head, Heart & Hands Foundation. The Indian River Club has really taken hold of the Indian River Academy, a school where 90 percent of the kids are on free and reduced lunch and supported them in a myriad of ways,” said Barbara Hammond, The Learning Alliance CEO and co-founder.

Hammond notes, “We've found the Third Grade Interventionist (3Gi) is one of the most effective in-school programs. In this intervention program, the 3Gi works with small groups of struggling third graders. Through this funding, a third-grade interventionist will change the lives of 25 to 30 students next year at Indian River Academy. We're so grateful and thankful for Head, Hearth & Hands support.”

The 3Gi position was created to improve literacy outcomes by the end of the third grade with the ultimate goal to create literate, compassionate, creative citizens who will improve our world. With only 36 percent of all third-graders nationally and 56 percent locally reading on grade level, these children need extended learning programs delivered by highly trained educators and through the support of the community.

A student who is behind after third grade has only a one in six chance of catching up. To combat these statistics, The Learning Alliance provides critical programs that are essential to our children’s success in school and in life. The 3Gi provides one-to-one and small group instruction to struggling third graders during the school day to support the afterschool and summer programs also being offered. Last year's data showed that students in the 3GI program had a 168 percent growth versus 23 percent for the district.