NORWALK, Conn. (WTNH)– Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities Organization raised over $26K at its third annual Smart Walkin Norwalk on Sunday, Oct. 3.

Over 200 parents, children, and community members participated in the annual walk at Westport’s Sherwood Island State Park. This event raised awareness and celebrated children who have learning differences.

“Today is about celebrating the strengths of children who in the eyes of many have a disability, but have found ways to overcome their differences and gone on to succeed,” said Chris Bogart, board chair of Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities Organization.

The main objective of the annual walk is for the community to understand that learning disabilities are not deficits in intelligence, but deficits in performance. And if children had that support, students can maximize their potential and may go on to accomplish more.

CREDITS: Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities Organization

The money that was raised during the event will be used to help children with learning and attention differences reach their full potential by inspiring and educating their parents.

“From a parents’ perspective, when you come to an event like this and you meet educators, administrators, and you met with the individual students, you realize that there’s an enormous amount of comfort in knowing that you’re not alone,” said Robert Tudisco, parent and disability rights attorney for Barger and Gaines.

Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities Organization offer educational and youth mentoring programs, parent networking support, and extensive digital resources for families.

“The work they do is so very important because part of helping children is educating adults. People develop differently and when you can identify someone early on that might have a disability, you can start putting together the resources that child may need,” said Norwalk Mayor Rilling.

Keynote speaker Ashley Raymond says having dyslexia and the battle to learn to read provided gifts. The Western Connecticut State University student shared that pretending to read in elementary school sparked her love for performing.

“We are grateful to our supporters, volunteer, and sponsors who helped to make this event such a success,” said Jane Ross, Executive Director of Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, INC.” Today was an important opportunity for families to understand that they are part of a community that is to be celebrated.”