IRC Recognized as 'Bright Spot'

IRC Community Recognized as a 'Bright Spot' by the Campaign for Grade Level Reading
Posted on 06/07/2021
IRC Bright Spot Recognition Award Graphic

Vero Beach, FL, June 7, 2021– The Campaign for Grade Level Reading (CGLR) recognized Indian River County as one of the 54 Bright Spot communities in the nation. These communities were specifically recognized out of the 350 CGLR coalitions for quickly adapting to COVID-related challenges and creating innovative responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in their area.

All CGLR network communities that make up the Community Learning for Impact and Improvement Platform were invited to submit stories to the “What’s Working Challenge” about COVID-19 response efforts in their county between May and December 2020. The efforts put forth by community partners in Indian River County were submitted by The Learning Alliance (TLA) as the “Big Tent Coalition.” In collaboration, the School District of Indian River County (SDIRC), The Learning Alliance, and several community organizations made it possible to continue forward momentum in a time when most were coming to a halt. The CGLR reviewed these stories, and selected the communities based on the criteria for qualifying as a Bright Spot.

The SDIRC distributed nearly 11,000 laptops and Chromebooks, which is 73% of our student population, to all students who needed a device, and purchased 200 hotspots to ensure they could connect to the internet and continue instruction on our virtual platforms while schools were closed. Our Information Technology Department met student needs by shifting data to accommodate households needs for multiple-student families and large workloads.

Our Food and Nutrition Department, in collaboration with our Transportation Department, delivered 10,463 meals each day to 45 different sites throughout Indian River County for 22 weeks.

The SDIRC Office of Equity held two “Equity in Action” conferences for the Indian River County community, as nothing will stop this important work. These meetings were held COVID-19 health and safety guidelines in place and were attended by several community organizations and leaders.

We began the year with our “Safe at School” plan in place outlining COVID-19 health and safety procedures and protocols, and offering three educational models, brick and mortar (in-person), virtual, and transitional, to accommodate our student and family needs. 67% of our student population began the school year attending school in person; at the end of quarter one we were up to nearly 80%; and will finish the school year with over 85% of our students attending school in person.

In addition to the work of the school district, several Moonshot Community partners also committed to adapting to new circumstances and overcoming challenges to benefit our students and community members including:

  • TLA, Moonshot Academy, Crossover Mission, Literacy Services, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Discovery Science Institute, Ballet Vero Beach, the Indian River County library, and Pre-K and the Early Learning Coalition pivoted to virtual instruction and online story-time.
  • The Kindergarten Readiness Coalition delivered learning kits and provided virtual to children in our community.
  • Childcare Resources and HealthyStart continued to support children and families throughout, adapting to COVID protocols.
  • The Environmental Learning Center provided “Nature Near You” kits to the community.
  • Youth Guidance supported student’s remote learning on the YG campus.
  • United Way of Indian River County provided grants and rental, utility, and prescription support.
  • Treasure Coast Community Health provided health care and vaccines to families.
  • Indian River Sheriff’s Office, Boys and Girls Clubs and Gifford Youth Achievement Center offered in-person summer camps.

Bright Spot Communities

Calgary, Alberta

Birmingham, Alabama

Springdale, Arkansas

Avondale, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Stockton-San Joaquin

County, California

Enfield, Connecticut

Kent County, Delaware

New Castle County,


Sussex County, Delaware

Indian River County, Florida

Pinellas County, Florida

Suncoast, Florida

Metro Atlanta Region,


Troup County, Georgia


Council Bluffs and

Pottawattamie County,


Story County, Iowa


Waukegan, Illinois

Lafayette, Indiana

Emporia, Kansas

Haverhill, Massachusetts

Montgomery County,


Portland, Maine

Kent County, Michigan

Northfield, Minnesota

Kansas City, Missouri

Tupelo/Lee County,


Billings, Montana


North Carolina

Metro Omaha, Nebraska

Camden, New Jersey

Las Vegas, Nevada

Chemung County, New York

New York City, New York

Rochester, New York

Franklin County, Ohio

Wallowa County, Oregon

Erie County, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Newport, Rhode Island

Richland County, South


Black Hills, South Dakota

Regina, Saskatchewan

Nashville, Tennessee

Denton, Texas

Salt Lake City (Clearfield,

Kearns, Park City and South

Salt Lake), Utah

Roanoke, Virginia

Virginia Beach, Virginia

U.S. Virgin Islands

Tacoma, Washington

Cabell County, West Virginia

Fayette County, West



If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Cristen Maddux at 772-564-5527 or email at