The family of Sir Sean Connery are supporting a pioneering new project which will support children with dyslexia – a cause which was close to his heart.
Sir Sean’s granddaughters were identified as dyslexic and during his lifetime he became “acutely aware” that someone can be both highly intelligent and yet struggle to decode language, according to his son, Stephane Connery.
The late actor, who died in 2020, was a passionate reader and the grant from the Sean Connery Foundation will provide children with dyslexia access to specialist teachers and tutors in partnership with Dyslexia Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council.
Funded for three years, the grant will support additional specialist teachers and classroom assistants will help other members of staff to support young people with dyslexia. If successful, it could be expanded nationally.
This will result in an additional 150 hours more support a week and will reach eight times as many pupils.
“Coming from an extremely modest background, learning to read opened the door to a world of endless possibilities for my father,” Stephane Connery added.
“With literacy, hard work and dedication he was able to forge an extraordinary career.
“When his beloved granddaughters were identified as dyslexic, Sean became acutely aware that someone can be both highly intelligent and yet struggle to decode language.
“Just as learning to read opened the doors of opportunity for my father, we hope this programme will help to open the doors of opportunity for children challenged by dyslexia and, in success, be expanded across Scotland with government support.”
He said: “At Dyslexia Scotland, an organisation that I am very proud to have been a part of creating due to my personal challenges as an extreme dyslexic, we have a wonderful team led by our CEO, Cathy Magee and we have a very active board.
“As president of Dyslexia Scotland, I am thrilled with the support of the Connery Family and their desire to help the people of Edinburgh and the rest of Scotland.
“We are delighted to be working in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council on this ground-breaking programme.
“Sean was a wonderful friend and a great ambassador to our country and the Connery family have been extremely generous in a way that Sean clearly would have been very proud of.”
Coun Joan Griffiths, Education, Children and Families Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “This is an amazing gift from the Sean Connery Foundation which is resulting in a significant increase in our support for individual learners, with literacy difficulties/dyslexia in all our schools.
“Thanks to this partnership work with the Connery family and Dyslexia Scotland, we are also increasing our staff training and developing groups for parents so they feel more confident and informed about how to support their child’s needs.”