Friday, December 9, 2011

Awards for Smart Kids with Learning Challenges

Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, a nonprofit organization based in Connecticut, has announced its 2012 Youth Achievement Award Contest, a nationwide program providing an award of $1,000 to a student 19 or younger who demonstrates initiative, talent and determination resulting in a notable accomplishment in any field -- including art, music, science, math, athletics or community service. There will also be Honorable Mention awards. The application for the 2012 Award is due February 28, 2012.

Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities has a helpful website with information for parents about learning and attention difficulties, including the legal aspects of special education and age-specific concerns. The website and their newsletters feature articles by well-regarded names in the fields of learning and advocacy. The current Honorary Chair of Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities is Henry Winkler, the actor, director, and producer, who is also the co-author of the Hank Zipzer book series for children, which is based upon Winkler's own struggles with dyslexia.

Other awards and scholarships specifically for students with learning differences include the Anne Ford Scholarship, which provides $10,000 over four years for students enrolling in a full time four-year college program in the fall of 2012, and the newer Allegra Ford Scholarship, offering a one-time $2,500 award to a student who will be attending a two-year college, a vocational program, or a specialized program for students with learning challenges. Both are organized by the National Center for Learning DisabilitiesThe deadlines for both scholarships are coming up soon -- December 31, 2011. Anne Ford wrote about her daughter Allegra's learning issues in a moving book, Laughing Allegra.

Marion Huber Learning Through Listening awards are presented to members of Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic) which supplies audio books to qualified students. This award is presented to high school seniors with learning disabilities, in recognition of academic excellence, outstanding leadership, and service to others. the awards are given to six students who are chosen by a selection committee. Learning Ally presents the three top winners $6,000 each and three special honors winners $2,000 each. The application deadline for the next awards is March 15, 2012.

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