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‘Fonzie’ actor and ‘Hank Zipzer’ author Henry Winkler gives dyslexia talk at Engayne Primary School, Upminster

Henry Winkler signs an autograph for Henry Doyle at Engayne School Henry Winkler signs an autograph for Henry Doyle at Engayne School

Monday, March 11, 2013
12:45 PM

Tuesday was a happy day for youngsters struggling at school when a TV star pitched up to give an inspiring talk.

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Henry Winkler with pupils at Engayne SchoolHenry Winkler with pupils at Engayne School

Iconic actor Henry Winkler, the man behind The Fonz, made a guest appearance at Engayne Primary School on March 5 – to speak about dyslexia.

Like his Happy Days character, Henry, now 67, had problems at school. As a dyslexic pupil in an age when the problem wasn’t recognised, he told Engayne students he was frequently labelled “stupid” and “lazy”.

Now Henry has a message for those who, like him, have trouble learning.

“Just because we learn differently, that does not mean we are not incredibly smart human beings,” he told the audience at the Upminster school. “That’s something I need every child to understand.”

The actor, who starred in the American sitcom in the 1970s and 1980s, went on to prove dyslexia should be no barrier to success, becoming a bestselling children’s author with his “Hank Zipzer – The World’s Greatest Underachiever” books.

After giving his presentation to pupils and staff, Henry spent 90 minutes signing books.

Engayne head Suzanne Ship said: “Henry’s story is truly an inspiration to us all.

“Fortunately children with any learning difficulties can be identified very quickly these days and extra help and support given to enable them to reach their full potential.”

Henry is touring schools as part of a campaign organised by kids’ newspaper First News and education charity Achievement for All.

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