TLA Newsletters

End of Year Message from Ray, Barbara and-Liz

June 10, 2021
Dear Friends of TLA,

Over 12 months ago now, the COVID pandemic turned our lives upside down. Even though we haven’t been able to engage in our regular, in-person social interactions, I can assure you that TLA has been busier and more impactful than ever during this crisis. Practically overnight, the school district’s and TLA’s programs and classrooms were converted from in-person instruction to hybrid and virtual formats.

To accommodate these new formats, the district deployed 8,000 tablets to homes and hotspot areas in the most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in a matter of days. With just four months of planning, schools opened on time in August at the height of the pandemic, offering three options for attending class: in-person, hybrid, and virtual. Thanks to the trust of parents and students in the district’s enforcement of health and safety guidelines, in-person attendance jumped from 62% in August to 86% by the end of the school year.

During this time, TLA didn’t miss a beat in offering its after-school Moonshot Academies and summer programs. We also helped fund and train K-2 literacy coaches and third grade interventionists in all 13 elementary schools, who have made a real difference in closing learning gaps. This year, we have made remarkable achievements, especially considering that only 20% of students nationwide attended school in person. But our work isn’t done.

Education has usually been thought of as the 3 Rs: “Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic”. The last 14 months have taught us that we need to add three more: Resilience, Recovery, and Reimagining.

Resilience: With your help, our Board of Directors voted for a 25% increase in this year’s resources to be resilient in this crisis and quickly respond to and meet the requests from Dr. Moore and the district to prevent losing a generation of our K-3 students due to COVID-19.

Recovery: Now we are using our past knowledge and new capabilities developed over the past 12 months to help our students recover what they may have lost in that period.

Reimagining: Finally, and most exciting, we are reimagining education based on what we’ve learned to solve these problems and to address large lingering ones like the inequality gap.

We don’t have to live with an education system that was originally designed where only 35% of third graders could read on grade level. Together, we can make that change. The Learning Alliance is most grateful for your generous personal and financial support, especially during these unprecedented times. The confidence, credibility, and resources you have given us to meet the magnitude of this challenging crisis is unmatched. We hope that you are proud of what we have accomplished, and that you’ll continue to stay with us as we reimagine K-3 education in new ways to transform lives through literacy. It couldn’t have happened without you!

Ray Oglethorpe
TLA Chairman of the Board
Barbara Hammond
CEO & TLA Co-Founder
Liz Woody Remington
TLA Co-Founder

TLA 2020-2021 Quick Impact Facts

Moonshot Academy Spring 2021 employed 45 teachers, tutors, and facilitators and served 220 students.

Primary Grade Interventionists served 455 K-3 students on 13 campuses.

From October 2020 to April 2021, Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative served 261 children and 131 families/parents, provided 160 referrals to community services, assembled and distributed 886 Learning Kits, and distributed 3,878 books to families and children in the community.

TLA’s District Liaisons Fran McDonough and Leslie Connelly have delivered 63 training sessions thus far to administrators, coaches, interventionists, and/or teachers.

TLA is funding 13 K-2 Literacy Coaches by scaling a world-class coaching model across all elementary schools in Indian River County. These positions are impacting approximately 130 teachers and 2,757 K-2 students.