The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR) announced that Indian River County’s “Moonshot Moment Literacy Movement” was selected as one of the select Pacesetter communities across the United States that exemplify extraordinary vision and best practices for their work during 2019 and Indian River County was one of them. The focus of the campaign is on six community solutions impact areas: School Readiness, School Attendance/Chronic Absence, Summer and Afterschool, Healthy Development, Parent Success and Grade-Level Proficiency.
Additionally, Moonshot Moment (Indian River County) was recognized as a Bright Spot and honored for work in the community solutions impact areas of Summer and Afterschool programs.
CGLR is a national collaborative effort by funders, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states and communities to ensure that more children in low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship. The campaign focuses on promoting early school success as an important building block of more hopeful futures for children in economically challenged families and communities.
“We applaud the civic leaders and local funders whose time, talent, energy, and imagination have fueled progress,” said Ralph Smith, managing director of CGLR. “At this challenging time, we have much to learn from each other. These Pacesetter and Bright Spot communities are leading the way in the six impact areas that we know matter. We congratulate them for this achievement and encourage our entire network to learn from them,” continued Smith.
Based on the GLR Campaign’s peer-review process involving nearly 400 individuals from across the network, Indian River County was one of 16 Pacesetter finalists honored for having made significant observable progress in one or more areas of impact.
The areas of impact were for “Mobilizing for Success” and “Deploying Innovative Strategies and Tools” for Big Tent Collaboration, Aligning What We Know (Science) With What We Do (Practice), and Strengthening Pre-K to K–12 (early years to early grades) Transitions.
Indian River County’s Moonshot Moment Literacy Movement campaign has been recognized as a national Pacesetter for seven years. This year the county was recognized for its work in the areas of School Readiness, Parent Success, Healthy Development, and Grade-Level Proficiency, the only community honored in four categories.
The Moonshot Moment campaign is supported by a county-wide Moonshot Community Action Network (MCAN), led by The Learning Alliance, working together for collective impact to transform lives through literacy. Through our collaborative initiatives, the Moonshot Community Action Network has developed models that provide children with the tools they need to be successful in school,” says Barbara Hammond, co-founder and executive director of the Alliance.
“Our partnerships and coalition-building have allowed us to ensure professionals working with our most at-risk children have the tools proven to close the educational achievement gap. As this designation shows, we’ve made progress and need to continue to mobilize our community by working with our schools, city agencies, nonprofits, civic leaders and parents.”
In 2010, The Learning Alliance launched the Moonshot Moment quest to ensure that at least 90 % of children would be reading proficiently by the end of third grade. While only 36 % of our nation’s third graders are reading on grade-level today, 60 % of third-graders in Indian River County are reading on grade level.
Hammond noted that the CGLR recognized Indian River County because “our game-changing impacts have moved the needle. The system metrics are moving from birth to third-grade reading, and through our collective work, we are securing a more robust pipeline. By uniting the community through the Moonshot Community Action Network, we are working as an unstoppable team. Our community has embraced the goal and moved from a literacy goal to a literacy movement to a Moonshot Community.”
The members of the Moonshot Community Action Network worked alongside The Learning Alliance to realize the goal of creating a better tomorrow by taking a stand for our children today. By uniting an entire community to reimagine education, we are working together to cultivate literate, creative and compassionate citizens who will improve our world.
By rallying the community behind the belief that literacy starts at birth and providing parents and children with the tools and support they need throughout the child’s developmental years; we work together to provide summer and afterschool education programming to children in grades kindergarten through third grade to improve their reading skills.