Delaware Valley Friends School Joins New LD Education Association The Association of LD Schools (ALDS)

PAOLI, October 5- As the nation enters Dyslexia Awareness Month, DVFriends is proud to announce its role as a founding school in a new education organization dedicated to collaboration and advocacy for students with learning differences.
The Association of LD Schools (ALDS) is a new non-profit, private school organization including over 50 founding schools across the country and in Canada that serve students with learning differences such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and executive dysfunction. The organization is an opportunity for LD schools nationwide to have a formal opportunity to partner together, share resources and support one another to make a positive impact for all students with learning differences.
DVFriends Head of School Kirk Smothers commented, “For many years, a group of longtime LD school heads have felt the need for a national organization that focuses on our institutions and the needs of our students. DVFriends has been part of that group since the beginning, and we are thrilled to be a founding member of the ALDS. We are grateful for the leadership of Cheryl Cook, an expert in LD education herself. We also look forward to being active in an organization whose primary purpose is to facilitate the collaboration of excellent schools across the country that serve students who learn differently, as it amplifies our voice as a collective group.”
ALDS is an outgrowth of partnerships formed among LD school leaders at an annual LD Leadership Retreat and a luncheon at the International Dyslexia Association’s annual conference. LD schools are frequently the only specialized school of their kind in their region, so the association will make it easier for schools and educators to find opportunities to connect and grow relationships to support one another and impact more students.
“At ALDS, our goal is clear: to foster an inclusive and empowering environment where schools dedicated to supporting students with learning differences can come together, collaborate, and flourish,” said Cheryl Cook, who recently retired as the academic dean at Lawrence School in Ohio and is serving a the Association’s founding Executive Director.  “My goal for ALDS is to figure out how we can help L school leaders and educators connect with each other about their work and efforts to support learners. We are stronger together.”
A LEAD on READ podcast from the Windward School interviewing Cheryl and highlighting the work of ALDS was released this week.
About ALDS: The Association of LD Schools (ALDS) is a formal community established to connect and support schools that specialize in education of students with learning differences (LD), such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and executive dysfunction. As a formal 501c3 non-profit, ALDS will be able to connect the community of LD institutions by dedicating both time and resources to organizing opportunities for interactive collaboration and reaching other schools sharing a common goal. Ultimately, ALDS will advance the movement of reaching more students and change the future of education for students who learn differently. Learn more at:

About DVFriends: For over 35 years, DVFriends has been a national leader educating bright students (grades 1-12) with language-based learning differences, such as dyslexia and other associated conditions, including ADHD and executive functioning challenges. The Quaker school community recognizes and honors thetremendous potential in our students and the inherent worth of all people. Teachers are specialists in a program that is responsive, academically challenging, and empowering. Learn more at