Keeping you informed on the latest TLA activity supporting the Moonshot Moment!
Your Monthly News & Recap for February 2018
"What does it take to create literate, compassionate, creative citizens who improve our world?" 

- This is the framing question behind everything we do at The Learning Alliance!

Upcoming Events

March 26th - 31st - Spring Break - Indian River County Schools 

April 7th - Moonshot Family Literacy Festival @ Gifford Middle School 10am - 2pm  (Free event - open to all)

April 21 - Fifth annual Moonshot "Read Across the Field" at Sebastian River High School, 8:15 am - 8:45 am  (Free event - open to all)

SDIRC Moonshot Literacy Lane - Connecting Families with Local Businesses to Celebrate Literacy  
On February 3rd, TLA launched the month-long SDIRC Moonshot Literacy Lane - a .75 mile story walk to promote family literacy, with the added benefits of outdoor physical activity and connecting families with local businesses.  

The SDIRC Moonshot Literacy Lane was a collaboration between The Learning Alliance, the School District of Indian River County and the Main Library in Vero Beach. The walk began at the Main Library, and ended across from Pocahontas Park, stopping at various business sites to read pages of the story, "Scaredy Squirrel" by Melanie Watt.  E ach story poster included literacy-building questions/activities to improve the child's comprehension and vocabulary.  

Literacy Lane at Rocket
L to R: Marie O'Brien, Patti Fuchs, Shawn Frost, Leslie Connelly, Kelly Baysura, Tiffany Justice

Dozens of families participated in the kickoff event, and continued through the month of February. Stay tuned for future SDIRC Moonshot Literacy Lane sites throughout the county!

Check out the recap video of the event for more info: 

SDIRC Moonshot Literacy Lane - Fueled by The Learning Alliance
SDIRC Moonshot Literacy Lane - Fueled by The Learning Alliance

Moonshot On-Campus Tour: Pelican Island Elementary School
Pelican Island Elementary has partnered with The Learning Alliance for the 2017-18 school, receiving extended resources and support.  They are provided with a K-2 Moonshot Coach, 3rd Grade Interventionist, Moonshot Academy, Professional Development and Support On-Demand, and support to develop a Moonshot Innovation Center.

Vicky McLoughlin joined The Learning Alliance and District Educators on this Moonshot Tour to experience:
  • a Kindergarten morning meeting, 
  • Second grade class co-teaching with the Moonshot Coach, 
  • Third graders working with the Moonshot Interventionist, Karen Whelan, 
  • First graders taking a virtual reality tour of various ecosystems, 
  • and a Fourth grade class engaged in outside learning.
Pelican Island Elementary is one of our Moonshot Deep Partnership Schools, and students are making tremendous growth because of these additional in-school and afterschool resources.  The mid-year school data shows that first graders have experienced .93 years growth and second graders have experienced .91 years growth!  Students working with the Moonshot third grade interventionist (3GI) show accelerated growth of .7 years from Fall to Winter, where the non-3GI students have grown .5 years during this time.  This additional support is making a difference to close the gap for our struggling readers!

Kindergarten morning meeting. 

Teaching and learning happen both in reality and virtually. 
A first grade student is taking a google expedition to the wetlands.

A fourth grade class is summarizing pages from The Starry Messenger: Galileo. 

TLA Honors Volunteers with Appreciation Luncheon
On February 20, 2018, TLA held our first Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast to express our gratitude and give volunteers an opportunity to share experiences and connect with one another.  Our dedicated 60-member volunteer cadre devotes a minimum of one-hour each week to tutor struggling readers in kindergarten classrooms across the district. Thank you volunteers for your support and commitment!  

V - Valued
O - Open-minded
L - Liaisons between schools and their respective communities
U - Unsung heroes
N - Needed at schools
T - Talented
E - Embody generosity and selflessness
E - Enthusiastic
- Respected
- Stewards of The Learning Alliance and SDIRC

Ray Oglethorpe, Chairman of The Learning Alliance, thanked our great volunteers at a February luncheon.

Barbara Hammond, CEO of The Learning Alliance, enjoyed talking with our fabulous volunteers who truly are making a difference by helping our students!

Thank you TLA Volunteers!

Moonshot Partner Event: KRC's Pre-K Party & Kindergarten Round-Up
The Learning Alliance participated in the 3rd annual Pre-K Party and Kindergarten Roundup which was held at the Indian River Mall on February 24th. The event is organized by Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative in partnership with the school district and local business and non-profit organizations.
TLA supported the event by facilitating an activity that was developed around the book, "Wemberly Worried" by Kevin Henkes. The book and activity supported TLA's Enriched Literacy model by emphasizing the Social Emotional Literacy aspects in the text. Wemberly worried about everything - especially starting school. 

Like Wemberly, many students face challenges in their lives that causes them to worry, act out, or become withdrawn. Therefore, the purpose of TLA's activity was to create a resiliency mechanism to empower students through those challenging situations.  Each child who participated in TLA's activity was able to make a "worry helper" to guide them through the times that makes them nervous. 

TLA's Sue Curtis and Bridget Lyons helped children make their "worry helper."

Team TLA and KRC (Top Row), students and parents making "worry helpers" (Bottom Row) 
TLA Micro-Credential: Extended Opportunities for Teacher Professional Development & Continuing Education
The Learning Alliance launched a series of five micro-credentials in Social Emotional Literacy that focus on strategies for educators to support the social emotional well-being of their students. This professional development opportunity will allow educators to create structures and prosocial experiences that build connections with and among students, to effectively support their social emotional well-being and psychological safety based on The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning's (CASEL's) five competencies of Social Emotional Learning (SEL). Those competencies are:  Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, and Responsible Decision Making.  

The research is clear - for children to learn, they must feel psychologically safe. Psychological safety refers to feeling accepted and respected and part of a team, group or family (see link: What Google Learned ). This micro-credential focuses on putting in place structures and prosocial experiences that are foundational to building a safe learning environment so that children are able to succeed academically.  The economic reality of the 21st century is that 9 out of 10 jobs require high levels of literacy. This stands in contrast to 2 out of 10 in the 1970's (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). Literacy is more than just reading, it is defined as the ability to read, write, speak and communicate effectively. 

Thus, working side by side for the past seven years with front line educators, The Learning Alliance has developed Enriched Literacy programs that meet the educators' needs to ensure that all their students can achieve these high levels of literacy and master the increasingly demanding standards required of them.  Through evidenced-based research and educator insight, we are confident that all learning begins with connection, so the Learning Alliance helps create the conditions for educators and their students to feel safe and connected so that they are available to learn.

TLA Staff and Teachers participating in Micro-Credential project

  Five of the nine educators who received micro-credentials in Social Emotional Literacy 
were presented  plaques at the February School Board Meeting

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