Your Monthly News & Updates

"What does it take to create a Moonshot Community with caring, compassionate, curious, literate citizens who will improve our world?"  -
 - This is the framing question behind everything we do at The Learning Alliance!

Upcoming Events

June 5 - Moonshot Academy Summer Sessions Begin

June 6 - TLA Launches the Summer Moonshot Moment Bookmobile

June 12-13 - Marietta College in Ohio visits TLA to explore scaling Moonshot Academy in Ohio

June 12 - 16 - Pacesetter Awards at the national Campaign for Grade Level Reading in Denver, CO  (Rocket Bus to Denver)

July 13 - National Summer Learning Day

Moonshot Drama Club @ Vero Beach Elementary

Moonshot Drama Club provides an outlet for students to be creative, express themselves, and collaborate together. Students engage in activities grounded in literary texts that afford them opportunities to share their perspectives, cultivate their creativity and problem solving ability, in addition to transforming their understanding of their surroundings and how they see the world.
"The future of our nation depends on our ability to create-and to be creative. During the coming decades our most important national resources will be human resources. If our nation is to continue to meet the challenges of the future, today's schools need to develop creative leaders." - Excerpt from the article Performing Together: The Arts and Education

Students in Moonshot Academy had the opportunity to participate in an afterschool Drama Club on Wednesdays throughout the Winter/Spring Session. 

Students performed a script based on the story Wings by Christopher Myers. 
Students used their bodies, voices, minds and imaginations to demonstrate their comprehension of the characters, setting and key events.


Moonshot Institute Weekend Workshop Agency by Design: Building Sensitivity to Design Through Maker-Centered Learning

Participants discovered how maker-centered learning can be accessible to all learners with researcher and author from Harvard's Project Zero, Jessica Ross. The Maker Space Professional Development focuses on building the conditions in the classroom which create literate, creative compassionate lifelong learners who improve our world. Maker spaces give teachers exposure to strategies which ensure students learn to read and comprehend then apply their knowledge to create something new. 

Through directly experiencing these routines, making connections to their own work, and looking at examples of these ideas in action, educators saw how fostering maker dispositions can develop a sensitivity to design and result in maker empowerment and student agency. 

"Maker centered learning is not a space, it is a mindset for allowing students to tinker."

In the breakout sessions, the big ideas of the day were unpacked and explored in ways that made connections to the worlds of the participants.


Technology: A must for 21st Century Learning

In order to create compassionate, creative, and literate children who will transform our world we need to support students learning with creative digital experiences. Additionally, we need training and support for our teachers to ensure that they know how to use technology to enhance and deepen learning. A grant from the Morgridge Family Foundation allowed The Learning Alliance to explore how technology can enhance literacy experiences in two elementary classrooms, Vero Beach Elementary and Rosewood Magnet in Indian River County Florida. Students and teachers used Apple iPads to create poems, animation, stop action movies, and other creative expressions to share literary experiences and show mastery of content. Check out a project and astrological fact slides that students created below: 

Links to student's astrological facts slides: 


Arts Integration in Action: 
Sebastian Elementary First Grade Field Trip @ VBMA

Students in Sebastian's first grade class came to visit the Vero Beach Museum of Art and experienced a highly engaging and dynamic day of art, drama, poetry and literacy. Clare Sommers from the museum led an art making activity inspired by the wire sculpture and shadow exhibition, Debbi Arseneaux from The Learning Alliance led a theatre and poetry lesson that brought the themes of shadow and light to life, and the students toured the museum with docents to ask questions and make connections to what they had been learning in class.

"My kids had so much fun yesterday. Thank you for being a part of our field trip!" 
- Betty Barth, 1st Grade Teacher  

Moonshot End of Year Showcase & Celebration

Over 70 educators and community members came together to share their work and learn from each other while celebrating how much they have accomplished. Participants from all Moonshot Professional Development Programs were invited to showcase what they had done with their students in the classroom and in Moonshot Academy through the year. Representative educators from both Collaborative Classrooms and the UP Campaign presented their work, and Fundations Model Classrooms and PD to Practice from the Moonshot Institute Weekend Workshops were featured as well. 

Kurt Wootton from the ArtsLiteracy Project at Brown and Tina Blythe from Harvard's Project Zero returned to facilitate the experience. 

"[My Moonshot Moment] was that I'm not alone. I'm a grateful 1st year teacher and I feel so blessed that I was provided the opportunity to participate in UP. Collaborating not only with my grade chair but also two other educators from Citrus has been a joyful learning experience.  Together we created an interactive unit that I can use again, modify and adapt for years to come.  The best part? My students were engaged, invested and excited!" - UP Campaign Participant

"As I worked closely with TLA this year, what truly stands out to me is the constant collaboration and love for all students in IRC. It was magical!" - Participant comment


Moonshot Academies Informances

Moonshot Academy (MSA) students at Beachland, Citrus, and Vero Beach Elementary had their "Informances" based on the text "Wings" by Christopher Myers during the week of May 11, 2017. 
MSA's are well structured after school and summer experiences which make learning fun and productive, while increasing student proficiency. Tutors engaged their students in various arts integrated literacy activities to help write poems, create collage art, and deeply understand the text's rich vocabulary around the essential question was, "Are you brave enough to be your own true self?"

Students created acrostic poems about what it means to be unique.

Our STARS warming up for their performance.

Teachers, families, and students enjoyed bonding together and celebrating the accomplishments of Moonshot Academy students during their culminating presentations.


Extended Learning Programs Make a Difference: Making Academic Gains & Stopping the Summer Slide 

Effective afterschool and summer programs provide an array of benefits to children, families and communities. This summer our Moonshot Academies, Literacy in Motion, and Literacy on the Lagoon programs will provide students an opportunity to retain information they learned during the school year and make gains in their academic knowledge. The majority of students served by our programs attend economically disadvantaged schools where the free and reduced lunch rates are typically over 65%, an indicator of widespread poverty. The purpose of our summer programs are to help close the achievement and learning gaps for economically disadvantaged students and struggling learners by providing high quality, rigorous, engaging opportunities during the summer, a time when students typically regress upwards of 25% (summer slide). Students who attend The Learning Alliance's extended learning programs have consistently out performed their peers in academic gains.


The Learning Alliance Success Stories: Joanne McCarty 

The Learning Alliance continues the journey to reach the Moonshot Goal of 90% of all students reading on grade level by the third grade. In doing so, one of our primary strategies is to facilitate professional development for teachers, administrators, and community partners through our UP  (Unit Planning) Campaign, Moonshot Institutes, and Collaborative Classrooms training series. Each of our signature professional development series provide educators with proven, evidence based techniques that they are able to learn, develop, and utilize in their classroom that cultivates their skill set and assists in fostering positive academic outcomes for students.  

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The Learning Alliance | P O Box 643446 | Vero Beach | FL | 32964