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Fonz tells Bournemouth students “school is cool!” HENRY “The Fonz” Winkler inspired students at the Oakmead College of Technology when he paid a visit. The actor, who is dyslexic, was at the north Bournemouth secondary as part of his high profile UK tour raising awareness of the needs of children with learning challenges. A hectic schedule including a meeting at Number 10 and TV and radio appearances was set aside to allow time for the 65year-old actor to talk to local children about his own experiences in school. Th e au dien ce of 300 p upils from Oakmead and Elmrise Primary sat spellbound as he explained how he went on to succeed as an actor in TV and films and now a best-selling author of children’s books – the central character is a 10-year-old boy with dyslexia. He was recently awarded the OBE for his work with ch ild ren with learn in g difficulties. It’s all a long way since he swaggered around Arnold’s Drive-In with his friend Richie Cunningham in the hit 1970s and ’80s American sitcom Happy Days. “Every single one of you has greatness in you and your job is to figure out what is is, and then give it to the world,” he told

the pupils. “School was unbelievably hard for me – teachers didn’t know what dyslexia was at that time. “I was labelled a troublemaker, I was the class clown. I got a bad grade in everything but lunch – I was great at lunch.” He then signed copies of his books, called Hank Zipzer, the World’s Greatest UnderAchiever. Executive head at Oakmead, Dr Annetta Minard, said: “He met pupils from all the year groups and insisted on making sure he spoke to everyone. He was a great inspiration.” Henry’s tour was organised by First News, the national newspaper for children.

Henry “The Fonz” Winkler inspiring students at the Oakmead College of Technology

10 PD July 2011 page 10

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The Poole Directory - July 2011  

July 2011 edition of The Poole Directory