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Actor Danny Glover Tells Area Students Of His Dyslexia Struggles

Actor and activist Danny Glover visits with children at The Hilltop School in Haverstraw earlier this week. He spoke of growing up with dyslexia and signed autographs for all the kids. Photo Credit: Rockland BOCES
Actor and activist Danny Glover has visited BOCES schools in Rockland County several times over the years. Education is among the many causes he supports. He is shown with children and staff at The Hilltop School in Haverstraw. Photo Credit: Rockland BOCES

ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- Actor and activist Danny Glover is a man of many talents and numerous causes, but none apparently so dear to his heart as education.

The 69-year-old star of films ranging from “The Color Purple” to “Lethal Weapon” just doesn’t appear at charitable functions or write the odd check, he gets involved in person – and quietly, without publicity or fanfare.

Glover has visited schools run by the Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Rockland County several times, said Christine Ditrano, principal of The Hilltop School in Haverstraw.

At Hilltop this week, Glover met with young students, many of whom have learning disabilities, and spoke movingly about growing up with dyslexia.

He told them that people back then didn’t really understand the disorder, which makes it difficult to read or interpret letters or symbols, but doesn’t affect intelligence.

One little girl asked Glover if he saw “letters backward,” Ditrano said.

Glover, who said reading is still a struggle, told the child that he sees words “flipped."

The actor told the kids that he carries a backpack with books and other materials with him wherever he goes because it takes him “so long to read.”

The students were impressed that someone with dyslexia could be so successful, Ditrano said.

“It helped a lot,” she said.

Glover, who is “very down-to-earth,” signed autographs for the children -- on their hands, baseball hats and T-shirts -- and posed for photos with each one, she said.

BOCES provides educational programs for special needs students and career and technical training for teenagers. It also helps prepare adult learners for job opportunities and teachers who want to upgrade professional skills.

Glover’s latest foray into Rockland also took him to the Jesse J. Kaplan School in West Nyack.

Glover is an honorary board member of Rockland BOCES’ Family Resource Center Foundation, which funds things such as the Backpack Food Pantry Program.

Many children who get free breakfasts and lunches at school aren’t getting their food needs met during the weekend.

The program sends them home with nutritious foods to get them through.

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