There are so many children in our country today with learning challenges who really feel 'less than,' who are so afraid that they're never going to realize their dreams
Westport, CT (PRWEB) October 29, 2009
Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, Inc. (SKLD), a nonprofit organization serving parents of children with learning disabilities and ADHD, announced today that actor and author Henry Winkler, best known for his role on the popular 1970s television sitcom "Happy Days," has agreed to join the organization as its honorary chairman. (http://www.smartkidswithld.org/sk-1-directors.html) SKLD also announced it had raised over $15,000 in grants from various organizations.
Winkler, who himself struggled with undiagnosed dyslexia as a child, was honored with SKLD's 2009 Community Service Award in April for his commitment to supporting children with learning disabilities. His children's book series, Hank Zipzer: The World's Greatest Underachiever, features a hero that kids everywhere with learning disabilities can relate to. Hank's triumphs over the everyday challenges of school faced by a child with dyslexia inspire kids with learning disabilities to do the same.
When asked if he ever expected to write a book, Mr. Winkler replied, "Never. There was a time when it was hard for me to read a book, so it is monumental to be able to write one." The 17th and final volume in the Hank Zipzer series will be published next spring.
"There are so many children in our country today with learning challenges who really feel 'less than,' who are so afraid that they're never going to realize their dreams," Winkler said, when asked what it meant to become honorary chairman of SKLD. "I'm here along with Smart Kids to tell them, 'You can; you will - eventually you can be who it is you dream of being.' "
After his iconic role as "The Fonz" on the long-running sitcom "Happy Days" in the 1970s, Winkler went on to an award-winning career as an actor, director and producer. His best-known film roles include "Night Shift" (1982) and "Heroes" (1977). In addition to "Happy Days," Winkler has appeared on numerous television shows, including "The Practice" and "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit."
SKLD's recent grant awards include $10,000 from the Laurence W. Levine Foundation for continuing support of its ongoing programs. Also, the Lone Pine Foundation awarded SKLD a grant of $2,500 for its pre-literacy skills program in Bridgeport, Conn., while the Westport Rotary Club and Westport Sunrise Rotary Club both awarded grants of $1,000 and $1,200, respectively, and the Westport Woman's Club, $500 for SKLD's educational programs.
About Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities
Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, based in Westport, Conn., is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering the parents of children with learning disabilities (LD) and attention-deficit disorder (ADHD). Since May of 2000, it has provided action-oriented information via its newsletter, website, and educational programs -- information that can help parents become successful advocates for their children. For more information, please see http://www.smartkidswithld.org
Jane Ross - 203-226-6831
Anamy Engle - 203-644-2425
Note: Photos are available on request