LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV)- Senate Bill 33, also known as the "Dyslexia Bill" was signed by Governor Mike Beebe on April 16. And to celebrate, dozens of people released balloons on the steps of the capitol.
"She tried for months with no success," Mary-Margaret Scholtens begins. A story, about a girl, diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of six. Beyond all the challenges stood a supportive teacher and mentor. "That teacher happened to be me."
The little girl was Angelina Mazzanti. With tears streaming down her face, she remembers what life was like after the diagnosis. Mazzanti says, "I was lucky. I was ahead of the game. When I first found out I was very young. When I first found out, I found out that I was different, but I embraced my differences."
Dyslexia is a language processing disability that affects at least one in every five children in the United States, but with the enactment of Senate Bill 33, those children will get the resources and support they need from the public school system to be successful students.
"Because you have dyslexia doesn't mean you can't be a doctor. Because you have dyslexia doesn't mean you can't have a PhD, says Dr. Sherece West-Scantlebury, president and CEO of the Winthrop Rockerfeller Foundation.
"Everyday is going to be hard. But you know what? You can get through it. Just like I did," says Mazzanti.
A message of inspiration... leaving several people in tears. One parent says, "Tears of excitement, tears of joy, tears of happiness, tears of hope for the future of Arkansas."