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

Bosses for Babies

The Learning Alliance (TLA) is the first organization in Indian River County to join a statewide movement of an increasing number of businesses supporting families through the Children’s Movement of Florida’s “Bosses for Babies” initiative. In doing so, they are inspiring and encouraging others to follow suit. The Learning Alliance invites other community businesses to join the “Bosses for Babies” initiative because “when businesses support families, everyone wins.” Visit for more information.

Each year, about 200,000 children head to kindergarten in Florida, and nearly half of them are not ready to learn. The Moonshot Literacy Movement created in Indian River County in 2012 has set a goal for children to be ready for kindergarten with 90% of them reading on level by the end of third grade. 

This is our “Moonshot Moment” goal, as we are working to make IRC a leading literacy capital of the nation! The “Bosses for Babies” initiative is in direct support of this Moonshot movement, because it promotes the role business leaders can play in transforming the next generation, whether through community involvement, family-friendly practices in their businesses, or by using their voices to stand up for these children and their families.

The “Bosses for Babies” initiative brings together business champions for early childhood, highlighting the many ways companies can make an impact and inspire others to take action. Bosses like Barbara Hammond, TLA CEO and co-founder, understand that investing in young children and families is an investment both in a business’ bottom line and community prosperity.

The Florida Chamber has shared the importance of early learning as a critical factor to Florida’s talent pipeline. When businesses in our county are interviewing potential hires, they want to know about the schools, parks, health care and factors related to their families. Our Moonshot Community is working together to build a literacy capital of the nation, and the “Bosses for Babies” program supports this by encouraging a family-friendly work environment. Our hope is that over time, these family-friendly policies will proliferate and become the norm.

Hammond is the mother of two boys whose life stories inspired her to start The Learning Alliance and the birth of the community-wide Moonshot Moment literacy goal which has grown into a county-wide Moonshot Literacy Movement.

Before starting The Learning Alliance, Hammond was board chair of the Mental Health Association in Vero Beach for 10 years. In that experience, Hammond understands that supporting children is undoubtedly tied to supporting their greatest teachers, their parents. As a parent herself, she relates to many of the challenges and struggles that parents face and has pledged her support to help create a workplace conducive to supporting children and their families.

The latest data shows Florida’s kindergarten readiness rate sitting at 53%. This means nearly 90,000 children entering the K-12 system are deemed “unready,” and already falling behind at a critical time in their learning and development. Research tells us it’s difficult to catch up, so we need to do a better job supporting children and families in the early years.

“This is a natural partnership,” said Hammond as The Learning Alliance is already committed to improving education for ALL children by focusing on kindergarten readiness, school and classroom support, extended learning, and community engagement as the managing partner of the Moonshot Moment Literacy Movement.

By uniting an entire community to reimagine education, we are working together to cultivate literate, creative, and compassionate citizens who will improve our world. As part of The Learning Alliance’s work to create a better tomorrow by taking a stand for our children today, they have committed to these Bosses for Babies pillars.

- Start the conversation. Be vocal when you are prioritizing family so others know it’s part of your culture. Ask employees about their families and their child care choices; listen.

- Give or volunteer. Support an early learning center in your neighborhood. Sponsor an event in your community promoting early literacy, children’s health, or support for parents of young children.

- Share community resources. Make information and resources available for parents, caregivers, or grandparents in your organization. Host an internal lunch & learn about early childhood.

- Advocate. Use your voice to elevate these issues in your community and influence decisions in Tallahassee. You can also join the Florida Chamber’s Business Alliance for Early Learning to engage with a network that cares about the link between early learning and Florida’s future.

The Learning Alliance invites other community businesses to join the Moonshot Literacy Movement by becoming a “Bosses for Babies” business, because “when businesses support families, everyone wins.”

Visit for more information or contact Marie O’Brien at