Despite the efforts of parents, teachers, the media and others, there’s still a stigma attached to learning disabilities. Youngsters who learn differently are still called lazy and stupid.
The 1st annual Smart Walk for Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities is set for this Sunday (12 p.m., Sherwood Island State Park).
The event celebrates the strengths and talents of young people with learning disabilities and ADHD. It rejects stereotypes, empowers kids and parents, and raises awareness and funds for educational programs, youth mentoring, parent networking and resources to help families find support for their children.
Smart Kids founder Jane Ross is a beloved figure in Westport. When her son was diagnosed with dyslexia in 4th grade — after years of frustration — she panicked. Would he ever learn to read? Could he ever go to college?
She educated herself on how best to help her son. After earning his masters degree from the Columbia University School of Architecture, he is an architect in New York City. He designed the house his parents are now building.
Teams, families and individuals will walk a scenic 1.5-mile route at their own pace. There’s a photo booth, plus children’s crafts, games and face painting,
Oh, yeah: The inspiring song “This is Me” will be sung proudly on Sunday.
The “Greatest Showman” tune is an anthem for everyone who is different. And it was co-written by Justin Paul — a 2003 Staples High School graduate.
He won’t be at Sherwood Island on Sunday. But his music will help everyone at the Walk for Kids with Learning Disabilities celebrate some very special young people.
(To register, click here. The entry fee is $15; children under 5 are free.)