@MollieTheSats helped @dyslexiaaction open a new centre in London this week.
The Saturdays star Mollie King told today how she had to “cheat” in school to cover up her difficulty reading.
The singer, 24, spoke candidly for the first time about her struggle with dyslexia and the embarrassment she felt when she was unable to read aloud fluently in front of fellow pupils.
She said: “When you had a go around the class, reading a few paragraphs each from a book, I would sit there dreading my turn.
“I used to have my best friend next to me, whispering the hard words to me. But once I realised what the problem was, I felt much better about the fact that I wasn’t thick.”
Today she backed the Evening Standard’s literacy campaign, saying she would have “loved” a reading mentor like those in our Get London Reading scheme. The campaign has raised £220,000 so far to fund volunteers who give one-to-one reading help to children in primary schools across the capital.
With partner charity Volunteer Reading Help, our campaign has already placed 100 volunteers in 70 schools, with another 100 ready for placement in the run-up to Christmas. King added: “I have been there, so I can really relate to it. I’ve had these difficulties and I got through them.
She added: “I used to have extra tutoring after school, so I could really have benefited from these volunteers. Just knowing there are people who want to help is inspiring.”
She spoke as she opened a new teaching centre, the Help A Capital Child Learning Room in Bloomsbury. “I want to do everything I can to raise awareness and make young people and adults realise it’s not a taboo subject,” she said. “I don’t want anyone to feel they can’t achieve their ambitions if they are dyslexic.
“When I was at school, most people were planning on going to university and becoming doctors or lawyers. I wanted to be a singer and I was laughed at. It was tough but I never let anything stop me. I would like to think that in some way I could encourage young people to achieve their goals.”
The new centre, created by charity Dyslexia Action, will provide lessons for children and adults with reading and writing difficulties.
The Wandsworth-born star went to Surbiton High School and was diagnosed dyslexic at 11 after being assessed by an educational psychologist. At school, said King, “I could read but it was – and still is – a bit of a struggle. My spelling is quite good, but reading is quite slow. I did get help from my school and was allowed to do my exams on a laptop.
“I recently presented the Radio 1 Teen Awards and had to read off an autocue. I had to make sure I knew the whole script beforehand otherwise I would have struggled.”
Source: This Is London