As part of my way of contributing back to the motorsport community I will have a monthly spotlight on a motorsport charity that will be highlighted on the blog and all of my social media. Motorsport-related charities will have a free listing in the Motorsport Prospects Directory and their events will be featured for free on the Motorsport Prospects Events page. If you are involved in a motorsport-related charity or know of one you think deserves of some recognition, please do not hesitate to let me know.
This month the Motorsport Prospects Charity Spotlight is on Driving for Dyslexia. To learn more about this wonderful charity I spoke to Amanda Cox for some background on who they are, what they do and why.
Motorsport Prospects: What is Dyslexia?
Amanda Cox: Simply stated, The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity says, “Dyslexia is an unexpected difficulty in an individual who has the intelligence to be a much better reader.” Mayo Clinic states “Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding).” As many as ⅕ people has Dyslexia.
MP: What does Driving for Dyslexia do?
AC: Driving for Dyslexia uses the platform of motorsports to raise awareness about Dyslexia and raise funds to train teachers in the Orton-Gillingham method of reading instruction, which is an explicit, prescriptive way that people with Dyslexia need to be taught how to read. We strive for all people to know that Dyslexia doesn’t have to stop them.
MP: How did it start?
AC: In 2015, Elliot (my son) had the opportunity of a lifetime, the chance to partner with his hero, the late Justin Wilson, and later Scott Dixon and Stefan Wilson on the “Dyslexia Doesn’t Stop Me” campaign.
To carry on the legacy of Justin Wilson and the work Wilson did as an ambassador for dyslexia and the Dyslexia Institute of Indiana, Elliot founded Driving for Dyslexia in 2018.
In 2020, Driving for Dyslexia became a stand alone 501 (c)3 organization.
MP: What are some of the activities the charity has been involved in?
AC: Driving for Dyslexia participates in fundraising and awareness campaigns that are tied to motorsports and Elliot carries the Driving for Dyslexia logo on the side of his Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing F4 car as well as his go kart. The organization started as an event at Speedway Indoor Karting in 2018, where the public could come experience indoor kart racing in conjunction with a charity auction. We have continued to host this event, and in 2020 we took it outdoors to Whiteland Raceway Park. In 2021, we plan to continue to host the Driving for Dyslexia GP, and we have also partnered with indoor karting series “Tuesday Night Thunder at Speedway Indoor Karting” which donates proceeds to our cause and spreads awareness via the livestreamed events, which garners about 20,000 views per week.
Despite incorporating during the pandemic, Driving for Dyslexia has been able to fund two scholarships for teachers to be trained at the Dyslexia Institute of Indiana, and there are plans to continue to expand this program.
MP: How can people get involved?
AC: Teachers can apply for training scholarships via the link on the website, www.drivingfordyslexia.org. Scholarship applications are accepted on a rolling basis, with scholarships awarded as funds and training dates come available.
The general public can help Driving for Dyslexia by sponsoring our events, attending our events, donating for auctions and raffles, and coming out to race! Other great ways to help us include linking your Kroger reward card and Amazon Smile account to Driving for Dyslexia and ordering cookies from Laura Jo’s Cookies for Kids. Information about all of these partners can be found on the D4D website.
You can also see the Motorsport Prospects listing for Driving for Dyslexia here.