Community Literacy

Why is third grade reading so important?

Children should “learn to read” by third grade, in order to “read to learn” thereafter. Nationally, the reality is that many children do not enter school ready to learn, do not achieve grade-level skills, and carry this deficit throughout their education.

According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, third grade reading research supports the link between reading deficiencies and broader social consequences, including how living in poor households and high-poverty neighborhoods contribute to racial disparities in literacy skills in America and how low achievement impacts an individual’s future earning potential.

What has the Indian River Community Foundation done to support the Moonshot Moment?

It all started in 2012, when the Indian River Community Foundation was working with the School District of Indian River County, The Learning Alliance, the McCabe Foundation, and United Way to determine how to galvanize the community to support the Moonshot Moment goal.

Indian River Community Foundation

In November, 2012, IRCF worked to bring together over 70 business and community leaders for a “Visioning Workshop” to support the Moonshot Moment! Leaders from local government, churches, police, large businesses, and other nonprofits were led through exercises to understand the importance of the “Moonshot Moment” and how it would impact their future. By the end of 2014, we now have a Literacy Leaders Coalition with over 40 members meeting monthly to continue the progress toward the goal.

Since then, we have provided guidance and funding to several local nonprofit organizations to support their work toward the Moonshot Moment! Specifically, our funding has been used to support:

  • Summer and after-school programs to provide students with the catch-up tutoring and enrichment needed to stop the summer slide
  • Teacher professional development, to give teachers the knowledge and skills to “teach” reading
  • Ready for Kindergarten programs to ensure our children will be ready when they arrive, since children who arrive behind often stay behind

In 2014 and 2015, the Indian River Community Foundation has provided grants to support local literacy initiatives. Grants were given to the following groups to support their work toward the Moonshot Moment:

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Indian River County
  • The Learning Alliance
  • Childcare Resources
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