Back to school with the Fonz


Holy Rosary School in Duryea, PA, reopened March 13 after the Lackawanna River, which rose during Tropical Storm Lee, invaded the school in September, flooding it and leaving much of the school completely destroyed. The school underwent reconstruction and is now functioning like it never ceased operations.

Thanks in large part to beloved actor Henry Winkler and the initiative of Tammy Dixon, a fourth grade teacher at Holy Rosary, the library is restocked and ready to engage the children of the Catholic elementary school. What does Winkler have to do with this? Well, Dixon tweeted Winkler to thank him for getting her son interested in reading, and informed him of her school’s plight. In response, Winkler asked Dixon where she was and sent boxes of books to the school, including his own series about Hank Zipzer, a dyslexic fourth grader that is based in large part on Winkler’s own childhood.

To show their appreciation, Dixon’s class made thank-you cards and sent them to Winkler and “Hank Zipzer” co-author Lin Oliver. In return, Winkler sent a letter back to the children, addressed to every child by name, telling them, “You have greatness inside of you. Take that and give it to the world.”

Winkler and Oliver also participated in an hour-long video chat from Los Angeles with Dixon’s class. Each student had the opportunity to speak with and ask Winkler and Oliver questions.

“They were absolutely amazing. They are so kind-hearted, considerate and caring,” Dixon told Luzeme County newspaper The Citizens’ Voice. “When the kids came back to school, the first thing they asked was where the books were. This all started from a simple tweet and the kids really have been into reading.”

Winkler and Oliver have since authored a new series of books called “Ghost Buddy” – pick up a copy online or in your local library.

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