First Annual Smart Walk for Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities Draws Families, Friends and Supporters

More than 200 parents, children and supporters joined together for the First Annual Smart Walk for Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities on Sunday, October 21 at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport. The event raised­­­­­ nearly $50,000 for Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, a Westport-based nonprofit that provides educational programs, youth mentoring, parent networking and extensive resources for families.

It was an inspiring afternoon that celebrated the strengths and talents of young people with learning disabilities and ADHD, rejected the stigma attached to these issues and empowered parents. Leading the opening ceremonies was Robert Tudisco, a nationally-known disability rights attorney with Barger & Gaines, author, and motivational speaker, and also an adult diagnosed with ADHD. Tudisco encouraged youngsters with learning disabilities to believe in themselves.

First Selectman of Westport Jim Marpe and Second Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker lent their support. The Weston High School Chorale – 30 members – performed “This is Me,” the empowering song written by award-winning composer Justin Paul, who grew up in Westport. Children enjoyed games, face painting, a photo booth and activities, which included creating stress balls with the help of Sensory Kids. Afterwards, families, individuals and teams walked a scenic route at their own pace on the cool fall day. There were more than 25 volunteers, including the Staples High School SLOBS.

About Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities

Founded in 2000 by Westport resident Jane Ross, executive director, Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities has since grown to include chapters in Stamford/Greenwich, Westport/Wilton, Northern Fairfield County, and Hartford. Its mission is to educate, guide, and inspire parents of children with learning disabilities and ADHD. SKLD helps parents realize their children’s significant gifts and talents, and shows that with their love, guidance, and the right support, their children can live happy and productive lives. The organization provides an award-winning website and blog, free e-newsletter, and educational programs and support so parents can be effective advocates for their children. For more information, visit