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Local boy’s struggle with dyslexia inspires him to encourage others

DEL CITY, Okla. - A metro boy who struggles with dyslexia is now inspiring others who also face challenges with reading.

Alexander Shelton, 12, is a fifth grader at John Rex Charter School. He's thriving there now, but it hasn't always been that easy.

"My teachers would ask me to read out loud, and my classmates would laugh and giggle at me because I would read slowly," Shelton said. "I was not having fun in school and, some days, I just wanted to give up."

It was those struggles that inspired him to help others and start 'Alexander's Promise.' Through the program, he takes two bikes to local schools and awards them to the most improved readers in the class.

In this case, two Epperly Heights Elementary School third graders, Khloe Carnell and Jace Fry, were honored for their progress in the 'Star' program. Students are given reading tests, and faculty members check their program between the start of the year and now.

It was an announcement that caught Fry by surprise.

"Me? Really me?" he said.

As for Carnell, she plans on keeping the giving spirit alive by sharing with her sisters.

It was a rewarding day for the kids, and Shelton has a message for everyone.

"Don't laugh and giggle if you see someone struggling," he said. "Help them and encourage them."

Since last fall, Shelton, who is the son of former Rep. Mike Shelton, has donated eight bikes at four metro public schools.

The bikes are funded by family, friends and donations.