TLA Newsletters

A Message from the CEO

May 22, 2020

Updates from The Learning Alliance & Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative

Dear Friends of TLA and KRC,

I hope that this newsletter finds you safe and healthy. As we continue to navigate through these unsettling times, I wanted to let you know how grateful I am to each one of you who continue to lift one another up and pour positive energy into this world. The continued commitment and support I have seen from our investors and community partners during this global pandemic has reminded me how lucky we are to live in a community where everyone is willing to step in when it matters the most.

Below, you will see how The Learning Alliance and Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative are continuing to support children and families during this time. From developing creative online curriculum and providing individual tutoring to dropping off learning kits to students’ homes, we are committed to helping our little ones as they continue to learn and read from home!

Barbara Hammond

Tutoring Amidst the Corona Chaos

Coronavirus has done more than threaten the health of families across the globe; it is also wreaking havoc on the futures of our children. Abiding by restrictions implemented as a result of the Stay at Home Order, schools were forced to close their doors for the unforeseeable future.

While the county has implemented online learning, the children that were already struggling with reading are falling further and further behind. These are the children The Learning Alliance (TLA) has been supporting through small group in-school intervention, Moonshot Academy (MSA) after-school and summer tutoring.

TLA has wholly revamped its programming to ensure these children do not fall through the cracks. The MSA program has been modified from an after-school group instruction model to one-to-one tutoring via Zoom.

Currently, 70 students are meeting with MSA teachers three hours a week, and we are providing tutoring based on each student’s individual needs. In addition to individual direct instruction, the children have access to video lessons and activities distributed to MSA students through current MSA teachers via the School District of Indian River County’s online platform, Canvas.

Additionally, TLA’s Impact team has produced 48 video lessons and literacy experiences that are being delivered to teachers and struggling students Pre-K – 3rd grade.

On top of the significant impact COVID-19 has had on children’s access to learning, the trauma of the pandemic exacerbates social-emotional issues already prevalent in low-income homes. Parents are out of work, and anxiety is higher as parents worry about how they will feed, clothe, and keep a roof over their heads. Through our video lessons, literacy experiences, and modified Moonshot Academy program, we hope to provide these students and their families with a sense of normalcy and give them one less thing to worry about.
“It is so fun to do the online tutoring. I am learning new words and sounds every day. It is making me a better reader!” -Aiden, 1st grade Moonshot Academy Student

Mrs. Connelly, the Primary Literacy Consultant working with Aiden, said that not only has the virtual learning preserved the reading gains her students saw prior to COVID-19, it has also allowed her to stay socially connected with her students and provide the emotional support some of these students desperately need.

Thank You to All!

In our last newsletter, we asked for help getting learning kits into the hands of students who are learning from home. Our community stepped up and we are now able to deliver Moonshot Learning Kits to 50 more families in Indian River County! These kits will be designed for each student individually with grade-level appropriate books, activities, and material to keep our little ones reading and learning during this time.
The Learning Alliance had the opportunity to thank our essential workers last week. TLA’s Moonshot Reading Rocket was in the 20-vehicle parade, led by law enforcement and coordinated by the Rotary Club, to honor our nurses and doctors. It was just a little way to say thank you to our heroes!

Donate Now to Help Families in Need

Many families are experiencing hardships and a lack of resources during this unprecedented time.

Your donation will be used to increase outreach services, acquire books for children who may not have any at home, and provide other tools and educational materials to families in Indian River County.
Barbara Hammond
CEO, The Learning Alliance
Nivea Torres, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative