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Happy days for Newcastle children as The Fonz drops into school
CHILDREN in the North-East have been learning how reading is cool with Happy Days star Henry ‘The Fonz’ Winkler.
The dyslexic actor turned best-selling children’s author was given a warm welcome at Atkinson Road Primary School in Newcastle where he read from his books and answered pupils' questions.
They thanked him by performing the theme song from the hit 70s show that made him a household name.
While their parents remember him as the cool mechanic who lived with the Cunninghams, youngsters are more familiar with his series of books.
Mr Winkler, now 67, who was awarded an OBE in the 2011 New Year Honours for the work he does for children with learning difficulties, said: “School was unbelievably hard for me. Teachers didn’t know what dyslexia was at that time.
“I got a bad grade in everything but lunch.”
The visit is part of the children’s newspaper First News My Way! campaign, with the Achievement for All 3As education charity.
The aim is to improve progress in reading, writing and maths for children who have difficulty learning and those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged.
Mr Winkler added: “I was told I was stupid, lazy and not living up to my potential most of my life.
“When you’re younger and you’re told that, you believe it. Just because we learn differently, that does not mean that we are not incredibly smart human beings. That’s something I need every child to understand.”
Ten-year-old Shay Barsanti, from Benwell, said: “It’s been great.
“Everyone in my family likes Happy Days."
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