Amelia Baker running for Team NQT.

Amelia Baker running for Team NQT.

This past fall I ran my first ever marathon. Training for a marathon is a challenge to say the least – not only are you running 26.2 miles on race day, but you spend months training and preparing for the mental and physical challenge. I had run a half marathon once before. That was the furthest I had ever run – 13.1 miles, once. I knew that preparing for 26.2 miles wasn’t going to be easy, but knowing that I was doing it for something greater than me is what inspired me.

My whole life I have seen how children who have dyslexia have difficulty in school, how parents and teachers struggle to understand dyslexia, and how to best support these kids. I’ve seen the challenge kids with dyslexia and their parents face each day. Dyslexia is no stranger to my family. My grandmother, my dad and my sister and brother are dyslexic. I wanted to take on a challenge to raise awareness and to help the cause. This was the reason that I committed to run 26.2 miles; raising funds for teachers who want to help kids with dyslexia.

By running and training for the 2012 Philadelphia Marathon, I was able to raise nearly $4500 for The Dyslexia Foundation. These funds will allow 36 teachers to attend TDF’s Fall Conference at Harvard Medical School. Those 36, as well as all other attendees will walk away with ideas and tools on how to best educate and work with children who have learning differences. In turn, those children will gain confidence and will have the possibility of looking forward to school, rather than resenting it.

I plan on continuing to run marathons as a means of helping to raise dyslexia awareness and I hope to have a team running with me. I am so very grateful to all those who supported me with their pledges. I hope that Team TDF will be able to raise enough funds to underwrite 100 teachers at the 2014 Fall Conference.