The Moonshot Moment Eblast
Issue: # 2May 10, 2013 

Welcome to the second edition of the Moonshot Moment E-blast, designed to keep Moonshot Moment participants up to date on the successes that are happening in our collective pursuit of 90% literacy by 2018. The E-blast will feature a new story each week from one of four targeted areas: Invest in our Teachers, Principal Leadership, Community Engagement and National Conversations.  If you have a story to share, contact me at


Building Principal Leadership

Principal Visits Top Literacy Schools Across U.S. to Bring Best Practices to Highlands Elementary

Liz Woody, Diane Fannin and Marsha Van Arman
Liz Woody, Diane Fannin, and Marsha Van Arman
visiting The Odyssey School


Highlands Elementary Principal, Diane Fannin, is fully committed to having her students reach 90% literacy by 2018, but, as a leader, she is aware that she faces some serious challenges.  "The 90% literacy goal is the goal for our community, district and school! As the visionary of the school, the principal must be the driving force behind creating the urgency among the staff, parents, and community. It is my responsibility as the school leader to set high expectations for all stakeholders and to create a collaborative culture which problem-solves the barriers."


Realizing that schools don't out-perform their leadership, Diane and The Learning Alliance set out across the country to visit several schools with the best literacy education and leadership models. 


First, Diane headed to Maryland to visit three prominent schools for dyslexic children, because the latest literacy research proves that best practices for teaching dyslexic students how to read are also the best ways to teach reading to all students.  While at the Jemicy School, Baltimore Lab School, and Odyssey School in Baltimore, Diane learned the methods by which the incredibly-skilled teachers at these schools were trained to become experts in reading instruction to students facing any learning challenge.


Her second stop was New York City's PS 380 Elementary School, with a population of students similar to those at Highlands: 90-100% free and reduced lunch, up to 20% English as a second language learners and a significant number of students with developmental delay. PS 380 gained notoriety by piloting a literacy program utilizing Fundations, (the same literacy program recently implemented in Indian River County Schools), along with a small-group instruction model that included highly-trained teachers. The results were so incredible that the program was immediately expanded to 29 other New York elementary schools, and PS 380 was honored as a National school of excellence.  During her visit, Diane was able to experience the power of principal leadership along with top-notch modeling on how to build teachers trained to be reading experts, all in a public school setting.


Armed with information and determination, Diane is ready to put all that she has learned into action for the students at Highlands Elementary. If you are interested in jumping on board with the Highlands journey, contact me at



Thank you for supporting Moonshot Moment. Together we can make a difference!  Please visit for more information on Indian River County's quest to become the literacy capital of the United States. 




Jennifer Croom
Moonshot Moment Coordinator
Moonshot Moment Cutout
District logo

Thank you to those "Elementary School Principal Leaders"  supporting the Moonshot Moment 90% Literacy Goal: 

Caroline Barker, Beachland Elementary

Jon Teske, Citrus Elementary

Takeisha Harris, Dodgertown Elementary

Ramone Echeverria, Fellsmere Elementary

Mary Ellen Schneider, Glendale Elementary

Diane Fannin, Highlands Elementary

Kelly Baysura, Liberty Magnet Elementary

Kathleen Goldstein, Osceola Magnet Elementary

Kevin Browning, Pelican Island Elementary

Deborah Dillon, Rosewood Magnet Elementary

Letitia Whitfield, Sebastian Elementary

Mark Dugan, Treasure Coast Elementary

Ainsley Seeley, Vero Beach Elementary