HEADLINES

Local Author To Appear At Learning Disabilities Fundraiser

Local author Melissa Shapiro, DMV, of Westport, CT, will appear with her inspiring deaf, blind, and very pink puppy, Piglet, at the third annual Smart Walk for Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities on Sunday, October 3rd at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport.

Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, a Norwalk-based nonprofit that is a leader in helping children with learning and attention differences reach their full potential, will host the fundraising event and welcome Dr. Shapiro and her celebrity dog Piglet for a demonstration and a conversation about her new top selling book on Amazon, “Piglet: The Unexpected Story of a Deaf, Blind, Pink Puppy and His Family.” Copies of the book will be available for sale.

Shapiro, owner of Visiting Vet Service, and her husband Warren had no intention of keeping Piglet when they agreed to foster the eight-week-old deafblind puppy that was saved from a hoarding situation. In deciding to keep Piglet, opportunities to advocate for rescued animals and pets with disabilities aligned. Additionally, a path of teaching empathy, resilience, and kindness was created, leading to the ‘piglet mindset’ educational outreach program.

“Piglet and I are looking forward to celebrating kids with learning differences, and their parents, at the Smart Walk on October 3rd! We can’t wait to share a little positive Piglet Mindset™ with everyone after the walk,” said Dr. Shapiro.

The third annual Smart Walk for Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities is a fun day filled with crafts, games, music, ice cream, and a fundraising walk. The event raises funds for Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities’ educational and youth mentoring programs, parent networking support, Countdown to Kindergarten pre-school literacy program, and extensive, award-winning digital resources for families.

The event begins at noon, visit https://bit.ly/2UGuNIa to register for as little as $15, and kids under age five are free. Participants are encouraged to create their own fundraising page.  

Robert Tudisco, a nationally known disability rights attorney with Barger & Gaines, author, and motivational speaker, will lead the walk’s opening ceremony. Tudisco will discuss the promising future these young people can look forward to, and the importance of their parents serving as their champions and advocates. There will be an inspirational talk by a student speaker and students from Norwalk’s Crystal Theatre, a performing arts program for young people, will perform.

Families, individuals and teams are invited to walk the 2-mile scenic route at their own pace. The walk will take place rain or shine, and provides an opportunity for the members of a community that includes as many as one in five children, as well as adults and professionals to come together to celebrate these children’s potential. As one participant in the 2019 Walk commented, “It gave everyone touched by LD or ADHD such a sense of home and community.”

Registration for the Walk is just $15 per person, with a maximum of $50 per family, and includes a t-shirt in addition to one free ice cream for all kids aged 16 or younger. Families are welcome to sign up at https://bit.ly/2UGuNIa and to set up their own web page to invite support from friends and colleagues.

A variety of high-profile sponsorships are currently available. To learn more, contact Jane Ross, Executive Director of Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, Inc. at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (203) 226-6831. For additional information, visit www.smartkidswithld.org

Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities would like to thank its generous sponsors to date, including The Jay & Sari Canell Family Foundation; the Wooster School Bridge Program; The Southport School; Wilson & Son Jewelers; and media sponsor WSHU.

 

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