Moonshot Summer Institute
Read It, Write It, Build It: Applied Literacy in Action 

July 15 - 19, 2019


The 2019 Moonshot Summer Institute inspired

educators to unlock the power of ​E​nriched ​L​iteracy to transform their practice and improve student outcomes. ​They learned how to create dynamic learning opportunities that develop foundational literacy skills through supporting  students' social emotional needs and providing authentic opportunities for applied learning. ​


  • Take away research-based comprehension and writing strategies that will have an immediate impact on your students

  • Develop a robust and effective literacy block

  • Join a growing movement of professional educators

This 201 level institute took a closer look at Applied Literacy, focusing on strategies for comprehension and writing. We immersed ourselves in a STEAM experience and learned the tools of design thinking to support literacy skills. Inspired by Peter Brown's book The Wild Robot, we explored the intersection of nature and technology through observation, iteration, and creation. We learned how to develop compassion and empathy through powerful hands-on learning that included coding, art-making, makerspaces, and more. The whole week explored answers to our framing question: How can we grow literate, compassionate, creative citizens who will improve our world?

Social Emotional Literacy: the ability to manage emotions and navigate group interactions to build a community of learners

How do we create the conditions in which students are safe and available to learn? 

Foundational Literacy: the ability to read words and bring meaning to text. 

What are the essential skills students need to learn to be able to read?

Applied Literacy: the ability to apply skills and knowledge gained to authentic, real-world contexts.

How do we create authentic opportunities for students to show what they know and apply their learning?

About the Moonshot Summer Institute:

This annual week-long teacher institute, provided by The Learning Alliance, is designed to provide a meaningful, hands on professional development experience that reinforces the importance of student centered learning driven by big ideas and powerful essential questions, integrating the arts into learning while supporting rigorous standards-based instruction. Educators head back to school inspired and invigorated, ready for a new year.

Thank you to our generous community partners for your support, including
United Way, Impact 100, John's Island Community Service League, and John's Island Foundation
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© 2015 by Liz Bahl & Debbi Arseneaux. Proudly created with