Art Cain, director of the learning disability centers at the Whittier Christian Schools, is leading a small group of students on a monthlong, cross-country bicycle trip to raise money for the program and to focus attention on children with dyslexia.
An estimated 15 million children in America suffer from dyslexia, a reading impairment that is often caused by a genetic defect or brain injury.
"Many of those kids have average or better than average IQs, but they have difficulty reading and communicating," said Cain, who works with dyslexic students at the Whittier Christian Schools' four elementary campuses and at Whittier Christian High School. "It's time to raise awareness about the problem."
To accomplish that, Cain organized the 3,000-mile trek that will end July 26 at the Empire State Building in New York City. The trip began June 30 at the Huntington Beach Pier.
Riding with Cain are three of his present or former students from the learning disability centers--Brian Harshbarger of Whittier, Jeff Eytchison of La Habra Heights and Robert Foster of Monrovia. Eytchison's cousin, Matt, and marathon bicycle racer Scott Fortner of Whittier are also part of the group. A two-man support team in a motor home is following the bicyclists.
Cain said the group has received donations to cover their travel expenses. But they are still seeking sponsors who will pledge any amount of money for every mile they travel. Cain said the money will be used to expand the learning disability centers next year.
Those interested in sponsoring the riders can call the Whittier Christian Schools office at (213) 698-0527.