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

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.