Learning Ally National Record-A-Thon Celebrates "Different Ways to Read Across America"

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Authors and celebrities join thousands of Learning Ally volunteers to create audiobooks for people with reading disabilities, visual impairment, dyslexia, and learning differences.

I am very impressed by the great work Learning Ally is doing, and would encourage anyone to come and volunteer -- you'll be doing something incredibly valuable for your community." - Actor Christopher Gorham

Across the nation from February 26 through March 3, authors and celebrities will join more than 5,000 volunteers in a marathon campaign to record audiobooks and make them accessible for students, veterans and other individuals with reading disabilities and learning differences like dyslexia.

The nonprofit Learning Ally’s national Record-A-Thon runs in collaboration with the National Education Association’s “Read Across America” campaign and peaks on March 2, celebrating the birthday of beloved children’s book author Dr. Seuss.

At Learning Ally’s 19 recording studios across the US, volunteer readers will log extra hours at the microphone to transform printed textbooks into easy-to-navigate audiobooks – enabling hundreds of thousands of people with visual and learning disabilities to read, learn and achieve educational success.

Described as a 'tour de force' of volunteerism, philanthropy and community engagement, Record-A-Thon mobilizes thousands of volunteers to increase audiobook production, raise crucial funds, and focus public attention on the potential of millions of individuals with learning differences. "With our Record-A-Thon campaign," we are truly celebrating ‘Different Ways to Read Across America,' " says Learning Ally CEO Andrew Friedman.

To kick off the marathon week of fundraising, recording and audiobook production, Learning Ally welcomed actor Christopher Gorham to its Los Angeles recording studio. Gorham stars as "Auggie," a blind CIA operative in the USA Network’s hit series "Covert Affairs" -- and he says that playing a character who is blind has helped him connect with Learning Ally's mission and assistive technology. Gorham helped record two titles that will be placed in Learning Ally’s national library of more than 70,000 accessible audiobooks.

On February 27 leading into Record-A-Thon week, Learning Ally honors six of its outstanding student members with National Achievement Awards in Washington, DC. These students represent the hundreds of thousands of individuals with reading disabilities who have been helped by Learning Ally’s corps of dedicated volunteers.

Next week at Learning Ally’s Los Angeles studio, biographies will be brought to life by actors Joelle Carter ("Justified," "High Fidelity"), Karynn Moore ("Jane by Design") and Sheryl Lee ("Twin Peaks," "Winter’s Bone") along with a host of major TV and radio news anchors from the region. Meanwhile at the Palo Alto studio, Learning Ally volunteers will be joined by host of local officials, authors, and internationally acclaimed book narrator Simon Vance.

In Princeton, New Jersey, NFL star Reggie "Truck" Brown of the Philadelphia Eagles will team up with Learning Ally for a fun-filled family day at Barnes & Noble on March 2nd, celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

At Learning Ally's studio in Athens, Georgia, Barbara Dooley, radio host and wife of the long-time UGA football coach, is the honorary chair and will be a guest reader. The Philadelphia studio author hosted author Larry Levin ("Oogy: the Dog Only a Family Could Love") along with his famous dog, Oogy. Learning Ally's Denver studio will pay homage to Dr. Seuss’s "Horton Hears a Who," and will be recycling their volunteers’ old computers and hosting guest readers from local educational boards. In Phoenix, volunteers will be reading about Arizona history as they celebrate Arizona’s centennial.

A full list of Record-A-Thon studios can be found here.

During Record-A-Thon week as well as throughout the year, many of Learning Ally’s regional recording studios will host guest authors to record from their own books.These acclaimed “Authors for Access” make a great case for digital literacy and the importance of leveling the educational playing field for millions of people who learn differently.

About Learning Ally™

Founded in 1948 as Recording for the Blind, Learning Ally serves K-12, college and graduate students, as well as veterans and lifelong learners – all of whom cannot read standard print due to blindness, visual impairment, dyslexia, or other learning disabilities. Learning Ally’s collection of more than 70,000 digitally recorded textbooks and literature titles – delivered through internet download, assistive technology devices, and mainstream devices like iPhone and iPad – is the largest of its kind in the world. More than 5,000 volunteers across the U.S. help to record and process the educational materials, which students rely on to achieve academic and professional success. Learning Ally, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is funded in part by grants from state and local education programs, and the generous contributions of individuals, foundations and corporations. For more information, visit http://www.LearningAlly.org.

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