5K supporting struggling readers expects over 2,500 runners

When the pandemic struck in 2020, nonprofits scrambled to hold on to donations and fundraisers enabling them to continue serving their communities.

For the International Dyslexia Association Georgia Branch, that meant converting their popular 5K Run/Walk, held each October during Dyslexia Awareness month, into a virtual event. Three years later, the 2022 Dyslexia Dash will take place both in-person from Perimeter Mall and virtually – spreading to more than 20 states across the U.S.

In 2021, the hybrid event attracted an enthusiastic crowd of 1,700 on race day with another 700 participating virtually. Funds raised from the event support dyslexia education, scholarships and grants for teacher training and awareness programs.

Recent legislation makes their efforts all the more important. Every public school in Georgia will have to start screening students for dyslexia from kindergarten through third grade beginning with the 2024-25 school year.

“Recent enactment of dyslexia legislation in Georgia, has resulted in more interest in appropriate reading instruction to help struggling readers,” said IDA-GA President Stacey Levy. “We hope our efforts not only build dyslexia awareness but help celebrate the unique strengths and talents of individuals affected by this learning difference.”

According to the group, dyslexia is the most common cause of reading, writing and spelling difficulties. Their research shows that a child who completes second grade without gaining the skill of reading has only a one-in-four chance of reading at grade level by the end of elementary school.

IDA supports early identification and instruction using a multisensory, structured language approach based on the science of reading. IDA-GA’s programs help woefully underpaid teachers obtain Structured Literacy training. Since 2018 alone, the organization has awarded 111 scholarships and 17 grants totaling $135,889, plus countless free educational webinars and community outreach events.

For the families and educators who participate in the Dyslexia Dash each year, the event is also a celebration.

“I love how the Dash brings the greater community together,” said Dyslexia Dash Co-Chair Kelly Schreiner. “It’s a celebration not just for students, but their families and the teachers who work so hard to help them.”


MORE DETAILS

No need to be dyslexic to participate in this Peachtree Road Race Qualifier. Join the fun at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 at Perimeter Mall by registering at www.runsignup.com/Race/GA/Atlanta/DyslexiaDash. Learn more about IDA-GA’s scholarships, grants and free events at https://ga.dyslexiaida.org.