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Park Academy walk on tap Saturday


Event features 5K, barbecue and entertainment

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Park Academy's annual Walk in the Park is this weekend.Helping people with dyslexia this Saturday will be as easy as a walk through a park.

The 2014 Walk in the Park is on tap this Saturday at Park Academy, a school that specializes in serving third- to 12th- graders with dyslexia and other language-learning differences. The annual event kicks off with coffee, tea, bagels and pastries, then participants head out for a 5K leg stretcher.

Walkers get cracking at the school, travel along Old River Road to George Rogers Park. Along the way, participants will be able to spot a historic steel mill before heading back to enjoy a barbecue meal of hot dogs, potato salad and macaroni salad, said Jenna Kisor, Park Academy development and events assistant. To snag a blue T-shirt with a tree logo, it is first come, first served.

A raffle will be on hand, at $1 per ticket for a shot at a gift basket. Baskets have a host of themes: wine lovers, brewers, family adventure day, date night, Portland Trail Blazers, Portland Thorns and Portland Thunder. There also will be $5 tickets for a chance to win trips: a two-night stay in Sunriver for up to eight people, a one-night stay at Hallmark Resort in Newport, a one-night stay at The Ocean Lodge in Cannon Beach and $300 to spend at the Oregon Garden Resort (spa and hotel) in Silverton along with tickets to the garden. The trip packages all come with a $50 Shell gas card.

Also at the walk, the school choir, a trio with a guitarist, a group of drummers and a pianist will perform. Free helium-filled latex balloons will be available for kids.

Last year, Park Academy’s biggest community event raised $13,500 with 120 participants, and the goal this year is to draw 150 walkers.

“We’re right around the corner from Lake Oswego, and it’s a really great opportunity to see what we’re doing here, what we have to offer,” Kisor said. “We’re pretty hidden, so we really want to reach out to the community and show them what we’re doing to help children with dyslexia. And, we want to raise awareness about dyslexia itself.”

About one in seven people has dyslexia, which involves difficulties with word recognition, spelling, reading comprehension and vocabulary growth. Park Academy’s teachers are specially trained in how to help children with dyslexia learn. The school also offers fun activities, recently hosting the Portland Thunder, Oregon’s new professional arena football team, something that cheered up the kids. by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Park Academy gets a visit from members of the new Portland Thunder professional football team.

The school also is growing, relocating to the former Oregon National Guard Armory this fall.

Terry Scott of Milwaukie said her son, Andrew, now 14 and in eighth grade, moved forward three years academically since joining Park Academy in sixth grade and was three years behind while in public school. He was falling behind every year as well. She said people with dyslexia not only see numbers reversed or mixed up but moving on a page.

“That is how difficult it can be for dyslexic kids,” Scott said. “This school is trying to help.”

She said it’s certainly helped her son.

How to attend the walk

When: Registration begins at 9 a.m., and the walk begins at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Where: Park Academy, 17600 Pacific Highway, Marylhurst, (behind Marylhurst University)

Cost: $12 admission (includes walk, breakfast, lunch and entertainment)

For more information, visit walk.parkacademy.org.

Another way to help

For people who wish to support Park Academy but cannot attend the 2014 Walk in the Park, there is another way to help — by eating a meal 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Beaverton Noodles & Co., 4655 SW Griffith Drive, No. 135, Beaverton. The company will give 25 percent of the proceeds of a sale if a customer mentions Park Academy at the register. Menu items include Margherita Flatbread and Backyard Barbecue Chicken Salad.

For more information, visit www.parkacademy.org.

By Jillian Daley
503-636-1281, ext. 109
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