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

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.