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The Learning Alliance Thanks John’s Island Foundation for $50,000 Grant to Build Moonshot Academy Libraries for Students and Educators!


Contact:   Barbara Hammond, CEO and co-Founder of The Learning Alliance,, 772-473-0167  or Liz Woody,

Vero Beach, Florida – Struggling readers in the elementary schools of the School District of Indian River County have benefited from the Moonshot libraries provided by the John’s Island Foundation $50,000 grant. 

The Learning Alliance education consultants worked with the District educators in the Unit Planning Campaign and the Literacy Coaches at six Moonshot Academy Schools to select book titles to put rich, meaningful and relevant texts into students’ hands. These Moonshot Academy schools included Rosewood Magnet, Vero Beach Elementary, Indian River Academy, Beachland Elementary, Citrus Elementary and Treasure Coast Elementary, plus books were provided to 30 SDIRC educators who participated in the District Unit Planning Campaign to support units that they collaboratively planned with TLA and SDIRC professional development support.

The purpose of the Moonshot libraries is to fill the gap in rich literacy texts by giving the schools books that have deeper, meaningful fiction and non-fiction texts to support improved student learning.  The libraries at these Moonshot schools are dedicating a special area to house the class sets.  Each school received class sets of books for teachers to use in their classrooms.

Liz Woody, co-founder of The Learning Alliance and education consultant said “We see students reading worksheets and sharing books, sometime 2-3 students per book, and even then, the text may not be meaningful, rich and relevant to the students. We know access to books is a critical component of reading success, and access to rich, meaningful texts even more so. Teachers often share that they just don't have time to find these books and schools frequently limit their spending to books that fit in a specific curriculum.  The more you love reading, the more you will read. When students can see themselves in the stories, when they can make connections to the world through literature, when they have access to rich, meaningful, relevant texts...they will keep reading.”

Kurt Wootton, author of “A Reason to Read,” and international consultant working with The Learning Alliance and the Moonshot Moment Movement added, “Children must have direct contact with rich literature if we are going to get them reading to the level of our new demanding literacy standards.  It is not enough for a teacher to project the text on the screen for all to view.” 

The feedback from the Moonshot Academy teachers has been positive.  One teacher from Indian River Academy said, “It is wonderful for each student to have a book in their hands when I am teaching the lesson. It adds so much to their experience.  They benefit when they are each able to have full access to high-quality texts.’  Another teacher added that, "Every single student was excited and engaged to read more when we worked with these meaningful texts and they had their own copy."

Barbara Hammond, CEO of The Learning Alliance, adds, “On behalf of The Learning Alliance and the students and educators of the School District of Indian River County, we are grateful to the John’s Island Foundation for funding this important resource library to benefit our struggling readers!”

The books were purchased through the Vero Beach Book Center.

In addition to funding the Resource library at the Moonshot Schools, the grant supported the summer Moonshot Moment Bookmobile that delivered free books to children during the summer months.  The bookmobile gave away an average of 475 books each week, with regular stops six days a week in Gifford, Wabasso, Fellsmere and Oslo.


About The Learning Alliance:

At The Learning Alliance, our work is predicated on the question – What does it take to create a Moonshot community of literate, curious, compassionate citizens who will improve our world?  The Learning Alliance is a catalyst for innovation and collaboration supporting the Moonshot Moment 90% literacy transformative goal by arming front-line educators, parents, and community leaders with the tools, knowledge, and support necessary for success. are dedicated to achieving 90% student literacy by third grade.  Through innovative, evidence-based approaches to teaching and learning, we empower teachers to transform children’s lives.  Through partnerships with the School District of Indian River County, Indian River State College, community leaders and civic youth organizations in our community, we hope to create local solutions that can serve as a model for the nation.  Visit for more information.



For more information about The Learning Alliance, please contact Barbara Hammond at 877-548-READ (7323) or send an email


About the Moonshot Moment:
In 2012, then SDIRC Superintendent Dr. Fran Adams, in collaboration with The Learning Alliance, launched the “Moonshot Moment: 90% Literacy by Third Grade” making it one of the 140 communities working with the Campaign for Grade Level Reading (CGLR,) a nationwide movement of local leaders, states, nonprofits, and foundations putting a stake in the ground on third-grade reading.  The communities are adopting a collective impact strategy, engaging the full community around the goal of supporting low-income children from birth through third grade.   Acknowledging that schools alone cannot address all the challenges that keep children from learning to read, the School District of Indian River County works with nonprofits and other partners to ensure that children arrive at kindergarten ready to succeed, attend school regularly, and keep learning through the summer months.  The Indian River County Moonshot Moment Literacy Leaders group is comprised of over 70 business, nonprofit, School District, and concerned citizens working together to create programs and momentum to reach the 90% literacy goal!





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The Learning Alliance Thanks John’s Island Foundation for $50,000 Grant  to Build Moonshot Academy Libraries for Students and Educators!

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2066 14th Avenue
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Vero Beach, FL 32960

P.O. Box 2647
Vero Beach, FL 32961



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