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

The Dwight Stuart Youth Fund has awarded The Learning Alliance a $15,000 grant to help fund Literacy on the Lagoon.

The Dwight Stuart Youth Fund is a charitable trust founded in 2000 by Dwight Stuart, Senior. He believed that every child should have access to quality education programs and was specifically committed in helping those who are most underserved and underprivileged. The fund's philosophy promotes a healthy and vibrant educational system as the root of a prosperous society – economically, socially and collectively.

The fund’s mission aligns with The Learning Alliance's (TLA) mission for all children to read on grade-level by the end of the third grade. TLA's purpose is to improve literacy outcomes by the end of the third grade and create literate, compassionate, creative citizens who will improve our world.

Today, only 37 percent of all third-graders nationally and 56 percent locally are reading on grade level. The Literacy on the Lagoon program is one of the tools TLA uses to help close the literacy gap. Up until third-grade, students learn to read; thereafter, they read to learn. A student who is behind after third grade, only has a one in six chance of catching up.

These struggling children fall further behind over the summer when they don't have access to quality literature and instruction. To stop the summer slide or loss of learning, TLA, in conjunction with the School District of Indian River County and the Environmental Learning Center, has developed a literacy-rich, summer learning program with the Indian River Lagoon at the center.

Students spend two days per week at the Environmental Learning Center fully engaged in environmental topics and are back in the classroom for three days each week with specially trained classroom teachers who provide quality experiences for the students to further their understanding of the hands-on work they did out in the field.

“We're very grateful for the generous and continued support from the Dwight Stuart Youth Fund,” said Kjestine Bijur, TLA board member. “We are now motivated to work very hard and continue to justify their confidence in us!”

The combination of an outdoor, summer-camp-like format combined with classroom learning is a winning combination, according to Bijur. “The summer camp opens up a world of new experiences and new vocabulary to the children who participate. The teachers reinforce all that learning in the classroom, and it brings what they're learning to life for the kids.”

“It's fun. The children get to go out in canoes and wander around in the lagoon. They get to see snakes, birds, dolphins and other creatures,” adds Bijur.

“It is real hands-on learning with two days a week of field trips out to the Environmental Learning Center and three days in school to absorb this very integrated, enriched literacy curriculum. We thank the Dwight Stuart Youth Foundation and Kjestine and Peter Bijur for their leadership in supporting this program,” noted Barbara Hammond, TLA CEO and co-founder.

Literacy on the Lagoon participants have shown significant gains in general vocabulary acquisition. A diagnostic assessment showed that students in the program did not have a summer slide in vocabulary, compared to their peers who lost over two months of learning. Growth in comprehension, social-emotional, content knowledge, and information acquisition, indicated improvements in literacy comprehension skills.

“We're thankful for our funders for Literacy on the Lagoon. This program is an amazing relationship with the school district, Sebastian and Treasure Coast Elementary Schools, The Environmental Learning Center and The Learning Alliance,” said Hammond.