Education experts say if a child has not learned to read by third grade, that child will have a difficult time catching up in life.
Recently a purple school bus returned to Vero Beach after a 2,000-mile journey. The bus was filled with books, but this story could be titled, “A mom’s concern.”
“At 9, my son was struggling with reading,” said mom Liz Woody.
Woody moved her family to Florida from Baltimore so her son Mason could learn at a school that taught dyslexic students through physical senses. She earned a masters degree in learning disabilities and brought that concept back to Indian River County.
“How then can we take that out to a larger education system and learn from that?" She asked herself.
Through The Learning Alliance, a non-profit Woody co-founded, the Moonshot Moment was born back in 2012.
Partnering with local schools, it’s goal is to get 90 percent of third-graders reading at grade level.
“Because we know if you’re not, you have a one in seven chance of catching up," said Woody.
And the movement isn’t just local.
Bridget Lyons returned this week after driving the Moonshot Moment bus 2,000 miles to other “moonshot” communities across the country.
“It was transformative. It was touching, it was deep," said Lyons.
Participants shared their voices on a large tapestry that was on display at Riverside Park. Children and adults were invited to tell their personal stories about where they’ve been, where they are now, and where they hope to be in the future.
There is steady reading progress in Indian River County, but at 56%, there is still work to be done to reach that 90 percent threshold.
“It means the community has to come together and be an unstoppable team and invent our way to success," said Woody.
The rest of this story is still waiting to be written.