Henry Winkler FirstNews My Way! campaign
Actor and dyslexic author Henry Winkler OBE (aka The Fonz) is touring schools and theatres for the EIGHTH TIME
from 4 to 15 March as part of the 2013 First News My Way! campaign, in partnership with Achievement for All 3As.
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Henry will be accompanied on the tour, launching at Downing Street, by Nicky Cox MBE, editor of children’s
newspaper First News, who will be enforcing the message of the campaign – the things that make us different
make us special.
The First News My Way! Campaign has already had a huge impact raising awareness of the needs of children
with learning challenges in schools throughout the UK. It aims to dispel the stigma felt by the one in five children
in the UK with learning difficulties, raising the self-esteem of children affected and giving their friends a greater
understanding of the challenges they face. The reality is that many children who struggle are bullied at school.
For the second year, Henry and First News have partnered with leading education charity Achievement for
All 3As which is working with over 1500 schools around the country to improve progress in reading, writing
and maths for children who have difficulty learning and those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged. Henry is
dyslexic himself and shares his story with school children telling them: “How you learn has nothing to do with
how smart you are.”
He says: “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. I was told I was stupid, lazy and not living up to my potential most of my life. And,
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.”
Despite Henry’s dyslexia he has gone on to become a bestselling author of children’s novels in addition to his
success in acting and directing, and was awarded an OBE in the 2011 New Year Honours for the work he does for
children with learning difficulties. His Hank Zipzer The World’s Greatest Underachiever books, about a boy with
dyslexia, will soon be seen as a drama series on the BBC.
Nearly seven years since its launch, First News is the widest-read weekly children’s publication in the UK with
more than a million readers a week and is used as a resource in one in three schools nationwide. The current
Newspaper Awards’ Weekly Newspaper of the Year, it campaigns passionately to help children’s voices be heard.
Editor Nicky Cox says: “My Way! wants every child to get the education they deserve. Some states in America
decide how many prison cells to build based on reading tests in the fourth grade – that means kids are being
written off at eight years old. This shows the damaging effects of learning difficulties affect children’s behaviour,
their self esteem and their feelings of worth in ways that go far beyond reading. The First News My Way! campaign
is showing children that just because they learn differently, they can succeed at whatever they want to in life.
CAMPAIGN PARTNER INFORMATION
First News is the number one way to communicate with children in the UK and is the widest-read children’s
publication with 1,047,543 readers a week. The newspaper recently won National Weekly Newspaper of the Year
and Niche Newspaper of the Year in the 2012 Newspaper Awards. It also was named National Newspaper of the
Year in the Plain English Awards. The only children’s newspaper in the UK, it is on sale every Friday on the news-
stand and is used as a resource in a third of schools nationwide. Half of parents read their child’s copy of First News,
too, according to an independent survey carried out by You Gov. In January 2012, First News became the first fully
interactive newspaper in the world with its augmented reality app called First News +. The app is available for to
download for free on iTunes, the Apple App Store and the Google Play App Store.
About Achievement for All 3As:
Achievement for All 3As is a national charity which supports schools to improve the aspirations, access and
achievement of learners and young people. The Achievement for All programme, currently in over 1500 schools,
provides a whole school improvement framework tailored to each school’s needs delivered in partnership with
school leaders, teachers, parents, pupils and support professionals. Recent analysis of the 2011-12 school year
demonstrated that vulnerable and disadvantaged pupils, including those identified with special educational
needs and disabilities, in schools working with Achievement for All continued to make faster progress in reading,
writing and maths than their counterparts in other schools. Many are making as good or better progress than the
national expected levels of progress for all pupils. This builds on the findings of a two year pilot in 450 schools
in England evaluated by the University of Manchester that demonstrated significant improvement in SEN pupils
progress above that expected for all pupils in reading, writing, maths, behaviour and school attendance. It has
been developed in collaboration with the sector and is supported by the Department for Education. Further
information can be found at www.afa3as.org.uk.
Scholastic UK is part of Scholastic Inc., the largest specialist publisher and distributor of children’s books in the
world and a leader in educational technology. Ghost Buddy Zero To Hero is published on 7th June 2012 ISBN
9781407132280 £5.99 Age 8+. As a distributor of chidlren’s books through Scholastic Book Clubs and Fairs,
Scholastic is the biggest children’s specialist bookseller in the UK and Ireland. It has unparalleled reach to children
through schools, increasing opportunities for reading and book ownership for children in the UK and Ireland and
donating two million books to schools last year. Scholastic produces ready-made, time-saving resources to support
teachers in their classrooms. Scholastic Children’s Books publishes a wide range of books for all ages, including
best-sellers and award-winners such as the Horrible Histories series and Philip Pullman’s His Dark materials trilogy
and Klutz’s innovative book and craft packs. Learn more at www.scholastic.co.uk/aboutus.
Walker Books is the world’s leading independent publisher of children’s books and is part of a vibrant international
group that includes Candlewick Press in America, and Walker Books Australia. Walker Books publish Henry
Winkler’s Hank Zipzer books about a boy with dyslexia based on Henry’s own life. Founded in 1980, Walker
now publishes over 300 books a year across all genres, while remaining true to its original ethos: the pursuit
of excellence. Walker Books is home to many award-winning authors and illustrators including Henry Winkler,
Anthony Horowitz, Helen Oxenbury, Michael Morpurgo, John Burningham, Allan Ahlberg and Michael Rosen.
Learn more at www.walker.co.uk.