Keeping you informed on the latest TLA activity supporting the Moonshot Moment!
The Learning Alliance - March Moonshot Highlights
"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!
TLA's Upcoming Events

April 25-27 - Visitors for

April 25 - Monthly MCAN Meeting at VBMA
April 28 - Moonshot Institute

May 2 - Moonshot Summer Provider Workshop
"Indian River County's Moonshot Movement -- 
Showcasing Transformative School Leadership Initiatives" - March 1 Breakfast Series at John's Island
On March 1, 2018, The Learning Alliance hosted a breakfast event at John's Island Golf Club to share an update on the Moonshot Moment progress in our schools.  The inspiring "Moonshot On Campus" stories reaffirmed our Moonshot Community's commitment to take a stand for our children by working together to support educators, and to give students the extended learning opportunities they need to be successful in school.  Today's readers are tomorrow's leaders!

Over 130 people attended the breakfast event at John's Island Club.

State of the Moonshot Moment

Ray Oglethorpe, Chairman of the Board of The Learning Alliance, opened the breakfast by greeting the guests and participating in our new "Mark and Ray Show" to discuss the District highlights with Dr. Mark Rendell, Superintendent of the School District of Indian River County.  

Ray Oglethorpe and Mark Rendell shared the positive forecast for our District.


Dr. Rendell described the success of the new TLA-funded third grade interventionists (3GI) in five schools, as the small group tutoring that they provide during the school day has produced incredible results! The schools with a third grade interventionist have seen higher growth than the overall District average this year.


We have learned that a student who enters kindergarten at "grade level," must gain 1.25 years of growth each year to end third grade at grade level.  For those students who are not ready when they enter kindergarten, their average growth requirement is even higher!  



The School Funding Challenge

School Board member, Tiffany Justice, explained how school funding works and why the schools aren't able to pay for the additional interventions. She thanked the TLA donors for their commitment to our students and schools.  Many of our students enter school without the tools to be successful, at no fault of their own, and these additional supports are necessary to bridge the achievement gap.

Tiffany Justice, School Board Member, explained the constraints of state funding.


The Power of a Vision
Dr. Rendell introduced Diane Fannin, principal of Indian River Academy (IRA.)  As one of the Moonshot Deep Partnership Schools,  IRA has focused on the social emotional needs of their Title 1 students, and as a result of these changes to their school climate, their office-discipline referrals (ODRs) dropped from 313 to 39, a result of the school's Conscious Discipline practices.

Diane Fannin, Principal of Indian River Academy

By creating a school family where the children feel safe and connected, the students are ready and able to learn, and the data proves it!  The students who are receiving the interventions are showing significant growth toward their literacy goals.



The Power of Relationships
Like Indian River Academy, Pelican Island Elementary (PIE) is one of TLA's Moonshot Deep Partnership schools.  Moonshot Deep Partnership Schools receive additional support for educators and students, both during the school day and afterschool. 


Pelican Island Elementary (PIE) is the newest school to partner with The Learning Alliance, and principal Chris Kohlstedt talked about the benefits that the teachers and students are seeing as a result of the partnership. We heard student success stories from Carol Coppola, the Moonshot Coach, Karen Whelan, the Moonshot third grade interventionist, and Jenna Taylor, coordinator of the BBS Reads (AmeriCorps) tutors working at PIE. 

Pelican Island Elementary Principal Chris Kohlstedt discussed the power of relationships
and how it is creating a literacy culture in their school.

Principal Kohlstedt shared the data results that show the first and second grade students receiving the Moonshot support have grown almost a full year at the half-way mark, and those third grade students have grown .7 year during that time. 



Growing a Culture of Readers
Liz Woody Remington introduced Rosewood Magnet School principal Casandra Flores to talk about the Moonshot Innovation Center that TLA has supported at the school. Principal Flores and media specialist, Julie Carroll, talked about the positive changes the Innovation Center has brought about for their students.

Liz Cassie and Julie
Rosewood Principal, Casandra Flores, discussed the new Moonshot Innovation Center
and growing a culture of readers at Rosewood Magnet.


Summer and Afterschool Learning - Creating New Possibilities
Fran McDonough, TLA's Manager of Moonshot Academy Programs, introduced Janet Gerry, a volunteer at Beachland Elementary's Moonshot Academy, and Amy Shoemaker, the teacher / coordinator at the Fellsmere Elementary Moonshot Academy. They discussed the Moonshot Academy afterschool and summer learning programs that are creating new possibilities for our students!  

summer and afterschool with fran and debbi and amy and volunteer
L to R: Debbi Arseneaux, Amy Shoemaker, Janet Gerry, and Fran McDonough
discussing the summer and afterschool learning opportunities.

Students in grades K - 3 who participated in our Moonshot Academy programs showed notable growth, far outpacing the district average!


Tackling the Summer Slide
Debbi Arseneaux, TLA's manager of the Moonshot Institute programs, provided information on two of our community-collaboration summer programs designed to support struggling readers through innovative, experiential learning.  

Literacy in Motion (LIM) is a collaboration with the District and the Vero Beach Museum of Art, and Literacy on the Lagoon (LOL) is a collaboration with the School District and the Environmental Learning Center. While the programs provide students with a safe and enjoyable summer experience, they are truly helping to "stop the summer slide."  Data shows that students in those programs made significant literacy gains over their peers who did not participate in the summer program.



A Moonshot Nation
Heidi Sparkes Guber, 4th Quadrant Partners, said that Moonshot is at the leading edge of national transformation.  Our Moonshot Moment is a collaborative effort model for the nation, and beyond! 

Heidi Sparkes Guber, Founding Partner of Fourth Quadrant Partners, LLC -
Where Learning Turns into Results


Ray Oglethorpe thanked the attendees for their continued interest and support for the Moonshot Moment.  

Our "Moonshot Kids CAN" because of the philanthropic, volunteer, and collaborative work being done in our Moonshot Community.  We are becoming the literacy capital of the nation!

Ray Oglethorpe, Chairman of the Board, for The Learning Alliance provided the closing remarks for the breakfast event.


TLA Works with Fellsmere Community Leaders to Celebrate Dr. Seuss Day/Read Across America - March 2
"This is the first time that the Cat in the Hat has come to our neighborhood!" said one resident of Sonrise Villas, on March 2, 2018 - Dr. Seuss' Birthday / Read Across America Day. 

Donna and KRC and storytime

The Learning Alliance teamed up with Donna Remsnyder of the Fellsmere Action Community Team (FACT) and Literacy Services, and KRC to bring a Dr. Seuss birthday party to the Sonrise Villas apartments in Fellsmere, FL.  

Retired principal and TLA volunteer, Debbie Dillon, was dressed as the Cat in the Hat and invited over 150 children to join us for birthday cake and a free book from the Bookmobile!
Cat in Hat in Grant Park

With support from the Fellsmere police Department and other volunteers including local author and tennis pro, Alison Mays, we gave away birthday cake and books to over 170 children in Grant Park and Sonrise Villas.  

Marie O'Brien, TLA and MCAN Team members Donna Remsnyder, Elida Gomez, Alison Mays, Debbie Dillon, Dr. Nivea Torres, Susan Roberts, and KRC's Maria Pantoja posed with some of the children during our Bookmobile Suess Birthday Party at Sonrise Villas.

According to the Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation, "Research shows that when children have access to books in their home and choice in what books they read, they read more often and achieve at higher academic levels."  Our Moonshot Moment Bookmobile is designed to help children build their own home library by bringing free books to our underserved populations.

TLA Hosts Florida Campaign for Grade Level Reading Community Meeting - March 7

Jenn Faber, the Florida state lead for the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, visited our Moonshot Community on March 7th to meet with TLA and members of our Moonshot Community Action Network (MCAN.)  Jenn praised the work that our community is doing, and acknowledged our Pacesetter status as one of the leaders in the state and the nation!  The Florida CGLR provides state-wide support to our Moonshot Community, including training such as the Lectio Program Evaluation Tools.

MCAN Leaders Met with the FL CGLR Lead, Jenn Faber

Moonshot Academy Schools Hosted Session 2 Informances for Parents - March, 2018

Several of our Moonshot Academy Schools wrapped up their Session Two with a student-led  informant  for their parents!  Students in the Moonshot Academy programs continue to outpace their peers with their  literacy  gains, a direct result of the intentional extended learning.  We look  forward  to seeing the year-end gains after Session Three!

Rosewood happy MSA kids
Students at Rosewood Magnet Moonshot Academy enjoyed watching their Powerpoint Presentation

Rosewood MSA Students Acted out the Story
Pelican Island Elementary Students Performed Environmental Theme Songs

Pelican Island Elementary MSA Students Grew a Plant from Seed

Beachland MSA Students Performed for their Parents

Beachland Students Created Multiple Artifacts during their MSA Session

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