Forty years after its first road race, the Wardlaw School of the Atlanta Speech School is still giving its students – and others throughout Atlanta- that sense of accomplishment. Today, the Fun Run helps to raise funds to support the Wardlaw School, for bright students from kindergarten through sixth grade with dyslexia. Metaphorically, the run honors what the students of Wardlaw can accomplish with the help of exceptionally well-trained and devoted teachers, some encouragement and hard work. Every year Wardlaw students benefit tremendously from the “running start” Speech provides them before they continue their academic careers elsewhere. Nearly 500 students, family, alumni and local fitness buffs join each year.
This year’s race will take place during the fall for the first time - November 3, and is part of the School’s year-long 80th-anniversary celebration. A key piece of the event is that P.E. teachers Stephanie Young and Amy Braun lead students through a six-week training period. The training teaches perseverance, and helps each child achieve his or her personal best during the race. Children learn the value of preparation -running incrementally more each day of the training. Their trainers, Braun and Young, then chart their progress.
“Paul Cathcart founded this race as a way to show our students what they can achieve when they plan and work toward a goal,” said Atlanta Speech School Executive Director Comer Yates. “This event is all about providing our children with the sense that accomplishment, fun and hard work can be linked.” Mr. Cathcart, grandson of Katherine Cathcart Hamm, the founder of the Atlanta Speech School, retired as the race director in 2012, and his legacy – as well as his grandmother’s – continues to this day.
The Wardlaw School is one of four schools under the Atlanta Speech School umbrella – along with the Hamm Center, Kenan Preschool and Stepping Stones Preschool – as well as the Rollins Center for Language and Literacy, a reading-based professional development center; a Clinic serving four different clinical services (Auditory, Speech, Occupational Therapy and Learning Lab) and an extensive summer program.
The Atlanta Speech School is the nation’s most comprehensive language center for language and literacy. Its schools and programs seek to help each person develop his or her full potential through language and literacy. Each year, the School impacts the lives of approximately 1,400 children and adults at the Atlanta Speech School, more than 20,000 students throughout the State of Georgia through the work of its Rollins Center for Language & Learning professional development program and to date, more than 43,000 students on Cox Campus, offering free online continuing education for educators all over the world. To register or for more information, visit https://www.atlantaspeechschool.net/funrun.