Contest returns for students with learning disabilities

Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, Inc., a Westport-based nonprofit organization, recently announced the 2013 Fred J. Epstein Youth Achievement Award Contest, a nationwide recognition for students 19 or younger with learning disabilities (LD) or ADHD will take place in Old Greenwich.

The $1,000 prize will be awarded to a student who demonstrates talent and determination resulting in a notable accomplishment in any field including art, music, math, athletics or community service. Honorable Mentions will also be awarded.

The 2013 award will be presented at the organization’s annual benefit taking place on Friday, April 26 at the Hyatt Regency in Old Greenwich. Transportation and hotel accommodations will be provided for the winning student and his or her parents.

Celebrating the students’ potential is central to Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities’ mission, and is particularly important in view of the widespread misconceptions concerning learning disabilities, according to the organization.

“Children with LD and ADHD are no less capable than their peers,” said Devon MacEachron, a psychologist who is co-director of the CT Center for Exceptional Learners in Madison, and a member of Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities’ Professional Advisory Board. “But too often, we focus primarily on their weaknesses and fail to support these students’ considerable strengths. Identifying and nurturing their strengths is vitally important to helping them succeed, both in the classroom and beyond.”

The 2013 Fred J. Epstein Youth Achievement Award Contest deadline is Jan. 31. Winners will be posted on the organization’s website on April 1.

Applications may be submitted by parents, teachers, coaches or by students themselves, via a form posted on the organization’s website at Smartkidswithld.org/award.

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