04/15/2011 05:48 pm ET | Updated Jun 15, 2011

John Zickefoose Learned To Read At 35, Now Shares His Literacy Struggle With Kids

When John Zickefoose was in school, he had a secret: he didn't know how to read. Years later, when his young son busted him for not knowing words in the children's books they would read together, Zickefoose decided it was time to learn. He enrolled in a public library literacy program and, at age 35, learned how to read. Now, "Mr. Z" shares his story, and the importance of reading, with local kids.

"I know in my heart of hearts that when I do that, share my story, there's a child out there who's going through the exact same thing that I went through that says, you know, 'wow, if Mr. Z can do it maybe I shouldn't give up on myself,'" Zickefoose told CNN Education Contributor Steve Perry.