Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities Launches First Annual Read-A-Thon in October 2010: Online Fundraising Event Promotes Reading for Pleasure

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Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, Inc. launches its first annual Read-A-Thon fundraising event inviting children to sign up to read every day during the month of October. The Smart Kids Read-A-Thon encourages children to discover the joy of reading, while promoting literacy awareness and supporting the organization's work empowering parents to help their children with learning disabilities succeed, in school and in life.

Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, Inc. announces the launch of the first annual Smart Kids with LD Read-A-Thon fundraising event inviting children to sign up to read every day during the month of October. The event encourages children to discover the joy of reading, while promoting literacy awareness and supporting the organization's work empowering parents to help the estimated 1 in 7 children with learning disabilities to succeed, in school and in life.

Henry Winkler, the much-loved actor and author of the Hank Zipzer children's books, who is Smart Kids with LD's Honorary Chairman, tells kids in a video promoting the event, "Reading is like brain food - it makes you smarter."

"Our goal is to encourage kids of all ages to get off the computer, turn off the TV and spend time each day enjoying reading," said Jane Ross, Executive Director of Smart Kids with LD.

Each child's reading goals are set individually with parents' input, to ensure that the 50% that have difficulty learning to read can get involved, whether they read alone, with a parent or use audio books. "We want to be sure every child can get beyond the difficulties of reading for school and discover the real joy to be found in books, while also helping other children by signing up their friends and family to sponsor their reading goals," said Alysa Kabakow, Chairman of the Read-A-Thon.

All participants will have access to lists of books recommended by experts that are guaranteed to engage kids' interest from elementary through high school--from Jeff Kinney's "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" to the final volume in Suzanne Collins's "Hunger Games" series. The money raised through the Read-A-Thon will support Smart Kids' work promoting research-based reading instruction, that makes it possible for almost all children to learn to read. As Dr. Margie Gillis, the prominent reading expert and President of Literacy How notes, "Research has demonstrated that the more your child reads, the greater the effect not only on his vocabulary development and the store of information he can access, but also on the cognitive processes that promote academic success."

Those who do not learn to read don't fare well in America: 24% drop out without a high school diploma, and many become involved in risky and self-destructive behavior, resulting in disproportionately high rates of incarceration and under- or unemployment.

Each child who participates in fundraising through the Read-A-Thon will receive a Smart Kids bookmark listing famous people with learning disabilities, and will also have the chance to win one of five autographed books from Henry Winkler's Hank Zipzer series.

The Gold sponsors for the Read-A-Thon are Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes including the Center at 1574 Post Road in Darien, Connecticut; and Winston Preparatory School at 57 West Rocks Road, Norwalk, Connecticut.

About Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, Inc.:

Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering parents of children with learning disabilities (LD) and attention-deficit disorder (ADHD). Its mission is to educate, guide and inspire families dealing with disabilities and to change the perception of learning disabilities as a stigmatizing condition. Henry Winkler, Golden Globe award-winning actor, director and author, serves as the organization's Honorary Chairman.

Contact:
Jane Ross, Executive Director
Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, Inc.
203-226-6831
http://www.SmartKidswithLD.org

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