CNN Hero John Zickefoose (Mr. Z) will speak at the LDA Adult Luncheon
“Yes You Can"
Mr.Z is a natural storyteller and delights in bringing books to young readers. But that was not always the case. There was a time when reading the simple words of a picture book would have proved impossible for Mr. Z. He spent years in school overwhelmed with sadness that nothing came as easily to him as it did for others. He would become rowdy, preferring to be kicked out of class than to be called on by the teacher.
He was functionally illiterate, unable to read a prescription label, his children’s report cards or a menu. He was diagnosed as a young boy with dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity. For more than 30 years, Mr. Z was illiterate, barely capable of writing or reading his own name. He managed to graduate from high school, but he admits that he could only read a few words on his diploma.
His second grade son began asking him for homework help that he could not provide. At his wife’s suggestion, Mr. Z contacted the Corona Public Library and began literacy classes. Empowered by his new reading skills, Mr. Z has become an advocate for the struggling youth and adults in our society, drawing upon his own experiences in learning how to read and succeed in life. He has appeared on ABC, NBC, CNN and PBS. He has also given numerous radio interviews.