TLA Newsletters

A Message from the TLA CEO

June 22, 2020
During the these difficult times, The Learning Alliance is, as always, committed to unite our community around all children. We strive to build a language and literacy ecosystem which helps them read on grade level by the end of 3rd grade regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status. Our vision is to create literate, compassionate, creative individuals who will change our world.

While we learn more every day, our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion is implicit in our 90% goal. Our Moonshot Academies serve a diverse group of students: 84% economically disadvantaged, 30% black, 27% Hispanic and 35% white children. All children served are struggling to meet grade level expectations.

Together, we can build and reflect the world we want to see. We will continue to use our platform to educate, unite, respect each other, and love because we know that is the way we can make a difference.
Our mailing address has changed! Please send any correspondence to us at PO Box 2647, Vero Beach, FL 32961.

Updates from TLA & KRC

Dear Friends of TLA and KRC,

Learning Kits have been assembled and delivered, students have been enrolled, and teachers have been coached and are ready. We are excited to have launched our first Virtual Moonshot Academy to help reach our students and prevent the summer slide. Of course this is not the ideal situation, but we have been working hand-in-hand with the school district to ensure that we continue to do everything in our power to provide our students with the support necessary to learn to read.

When COVID hit and kids were forced to learn from home, with the support of our community, we were able to jump into action and began providing virtual, one-on-one reading tutoring, after school virtual Moonshot Academies, and delivered books and other resources to the doorsteps of our families.

As we launch into summer, we know that we cannot slow down. Our students need us more than ever, as they have been learning from home for over two months already. In fact, according to an April 2020 brief from NWEA, preliminary forecasts parallel many education leaders’ fears: missing school for a prolonged period will likely have major impacts on student achievement come fall 2020. We are determined not to let that happen here in Indian River County.

Thank you for your continued support and allowing us to serve our students and families in this time of need. Read below to learn more about our summer programming. We can’t wait to share the amazing stories of learning and connection that will emerge!

Barbara Hammond

3...2...1... LIFT OFF! Moonshot Academy Summer 2020 Has Launched!

The Learning Alliance’s signature program, Moonshot Academy (MSA), has been revamped to follow health & safety protocols against COVID-19 while still working to prevent the summer slide in student reading scores and come closer to our ultimate goal of 90% of students reading on grade level by the end of third grade. In the weeks leading up to the launch of MSA, we worked hard to assemble and deliver Moonshot Kits to students for our newly adapted summer program.

Moonshot Academy Summer 2020 launched on June 8 and will run for four weeks. This summer’s virtual program has the capacity to serve 120 students! We have restructured MSA Summer to accommodate one-on-one tutoring, whole group instruction, and enrichment sessions provided by community partners such as Ballet Vero Beach, Ocean Research and Conservation Association, and the Vero Beach Museum of Art.

“We are so excited about the opportunity to take our Moonshot Academy to our students virtually this summer. Using a combination of web-based technology and the school district’s learning platform, Canvas, we have curated a robust literacy based program to stop the summer and COVID slide” – Barbara Hammond, CEO<.em>

Tune Into Reading

This summer, The Learning Alliance is piloting a new literacy program called Tune into Reading. It is a highly engaging online program that uses music and song to increase reading fluency. Data indicate that when used with fidelity, Tune into Reading can increase reading scores by an entire year in just 12 weeks.

Forty rising 3rd graders from Pelican Island Elementary will receive cellular data-enabled tablets to access the program, and they and their families will have coaches to support them throughout the 12 weeks, receiving frequent communication via phone and text to monitor their progress. We are so thrilled to offer this innovative program, and look forward to analyzing the data collected to inform next steps and scale the program if successful.

Moonshot Radio

Each week, Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative Director Dr. Nivea Torres hosts Moonshot Radio. This weekly radio show provides a platform for local partners and agencies in Indian River County to share information about early childhood development, kindergarten readiness, and literacy by the end of third grade. Be sure to tune in!

Donate Now to Help Provide More Learning Opportunities for Students

For every $1,000 we raise, we can provide a struggling reader with 6 weeks of one-on-one virtual instruction to close literacy gaps and help us get closer to our 90% goal.
Barbara Hammond
CEO, The Learning Alliance
Nivea Torres, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative