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Transforming a Generation: 90% Literacy by Third Grade
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Grand Harbor Community Outreach Program funds The Learning Alliance 3GI.

It may have been April Fool's day, but the Grand Harbor Community Outreach Program (GHCOP) says literacy is no joking matter. To prove this, the philanthropic arm of the local community awarded The Learning Alliance a $10,000 grant to fund a Third Grade Interventionist (3GI) at Dodgertown Elementary School during their inaugural Breakfast of Champions at the Grand Harbor Golf Club.

“The Learning Alliance is grateful to the Grand Harbor Community Outreach Program for bringing us on to help fund our very successful Third Grade Interventionist program,” said Barbara Hammond, TLA CEO and co-founder. “I am so impressed with the depth of knowledge and passion that was exhibited by all the members of the evaluation committee and this promises to be a great relationship over time.”

The Learning Alliance is a vision driven, emergent learning organization dedicated to building innovative and collaborative solutions to help children learn to read. Our mission is to transform our community's future and become a model for the nation by creating a culture in which 90 percent of our children read on grade level by the end of third grade.

As part of TLA's partnership with the school district, TLA provides funding to support schools with Third Grade Interventionists (3GIs). The 3GI's provide targeted, explicit literacy instruction to students performing below grade level during the school day. TLA funds nine of the twelve 3GI salaries, including Dodgertown Elementary, serving 100 percent of students from the Gifford Community.

In addition to the monetary resources, TLA provides weekly in-school support in conjunction with a monthly evening professional learning cohort which focuses on going deeper in how to teach reading using multi-sensory instruction.

Third grade is the point of transformation for individual and economic prosperity. If you are behind after third grade, you only have a one in six chance of ever catching up. Reading on grade-level by the end of third grade is one of the most critical milestones in education. Studies show that 74 percent of third-graders who read poorly still struggle in ninth grade, and third grade reading scores can predict a student’s likelihood to graduate from high school.

Through supporting professional development for our teachers and allowing for more time in extended
learning spaces, such as the 3GI, to accelerate the struggling K-3 children, we are creating a culture to
improve literacy. Nationally, a significant percentage of students are failing to achieve grade-level reading proficiency. In the 2017-18 school year, only 35 percent (2017 NAEP) of 4th-grade students in the nation read at grade level and 56 percent in Indian River County  (2017 FSA).

“Our team feels The Learning Alliance is having a major impact on our community and applauds their partnership with the school district,” said Liz Crowther, GHCOP philanthropy committee co-chair. “The Learning Alliance is aligned with Grand Harbor Community Outreach objectives and draws volunteers from the Grand Harbor community. The Grant will support the Third Grade Interventionist at Dodgertown Elementary in Gifford, our backyard.”

We are happy to support this program that has increased student proficiency by an average of 27 percent. The Learning Alliance has relied on social venture capitalists for the majority of their funding. We all need to pitch in to solve this county’s literacy crisis,” added Crowther.

Grand Harbor Community Outreach is an all-volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to addressing the unmet needs of groups and individuals in Indian River County. With no employees or fixed overhead, GHCOP commits that 100% of member donations will be used to support the disadvantaged of our county. Its Philanthropy Committee works with about 40 community partners, carefully reviewing their operations and programs to ensure they are effective, impactful and of high quality.

Since its founding in 2001, Grand Harbor Outreach has raised and distributed nearly $4 million into the local community to help in the areas of education, health, jobs and human services. This collective endeavor, which involves 400 donors, over 100 volunteers, and 20 corporate sponsors is transforming lives, strengthening families and rebuilding communities. The focus is on providing hope and help to our neighbors in need so they can lift themselves out of poverty.

Please visit the Grand Harbor Outreach website at to learn more about Grand Harbor Community Outreach and how you can help.