IDA Launches COVID-19 National Relief Fund to Help Hardest Hit Struggling Readers and Their Families

BALTIMORE, Maryland, April 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — “Learning Cannot Go on Lockdown” is the rallying cry of a relief effort just launched by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) to prevent struggling readers from falling even further behind their peers. The IDA COVID-19 Relief Fund is raising funds to provide the following:

  1. Computers, laptops or tablets (for remote learning) for those who can’t afford them,
  2. Educational software and other required learning tools,
  3. Tutorial stipends for students who need one-on-one learning assistance, and;
  4. Family advocate stipends for those in need of special education advocacy services.

“We have to address the immediate needs of students most affected by this pandemic,” says IDA Board Chair, Jennifer Topple. “The IDA community understands all too well the burden this crisis has placed on families and teachers with its disruption of income, quarantine, and other challenges.”


Families and Teachers Are Struggling Too

With schools closed and the shift to remote learning, struggling readers are finding it even harder to keep up. The problem is compounded by the lack of basic resources many families and teachers need to ensure learning. More than one third of the 4th graders in the United States were reading below grade level before the pandemic. The turmoil and uncertainty caused by COVID-19 is expected to widen the gap even further—making it harder than ever for these children to catch up.

“Given the magnitude of the literacy problem in this country prior to COVID-19, IDA’s work was already critical. With the additional challenges caused by COVID-19, our services are essential to our survival and success as a nation,” says IDA CEO Sonja Banks. “It is imperative that we, as an inclusive community, make sure our children have what they need—not only to keep up, but to thrive.”

To learn more about the relief fund and find out how you can help, visit


About International Dyslexia Association (IDA)

The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) provides the opportunity for all people who struggle with dyslexia and other related reading differences to have richer, more robust lives by providing access to the tools and resources they need. IDA’s home office, 44 branches in the United States and Canada, and 26 Global Partners provide educator training, publications, information, and support to help struggling readers around the world. IDA is the authoritative voice of current and reliable research and information to educate families and professionals about dyslexia and to inform the practice and policy changes needed to provide effective instruction for all people to learn to read. IDA has been serving individuals with dyslexia, their families, and professionals in the field for more than 70 years. Its membership is composed of a global network of people with dyslexia, their families, educators, diagnosticians, physicians, researchers, and other professionals in the field. IDA provides publications and information and referral services to thousands of people each year, and its annual conference attracts thousands of researchers, clinicians, parents, teachers, psychologists, educational therapists, and people with dyslexia. Visit IDA at to learn more.


Media Contact:

Jason Marshall
Chief Communications and Engagement Officer
International Dyslexia Association
410-296-0232 Ext: 417



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