Malcolm Mitchell to launch Roberts Academy Speaker Series

headshot of malcolm mitchell

MACON — Roberts Academy at Mercer University is launching its Speaker Series with Malcolm Mitchell on Tuesday, Jan. 23, from 5:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., in the Presidents Dining Room in the University Center on the Macon campus. “Overcoming Reading Challenges – Stories of Success” is a free program presented by Roberts Academy, a transitional school for children with dyslexia.

Mitchell, a former New England Patriots and Georgia Bulldog football player, struggled with reading as a youth and engaged in extraordinary means to improve and thrive as a reader. His lively and engaging presentations tell how he taught himself to read as a young adult, starting by reading children’s books.

Mitchell is a literacy advocate, author of several children’s books and executive director of Share the Magic Foundation, a non-profit based in Atlanta that aims to “inspire kids to read to a better future by empowering educators.”

Mitchell will be joined by parent advocate Julia Roberts, mother of three young adults who were diagnosed with dyslexia as children. The Roberts children were the inspiration for a historic and life-changing gift from their grandparents Hal and Marjorie Roberts to build The Roberts Academy at Mercer University, opening fall of 2024. Roberts is an advocate for specialized schools for children with dyslexia. She will share her children’s stories, from dyslexia diagnosis to overcoming their reading challenges through school to college graduates and successful adults.

Orange logo for Roberts Academy at Mercer University

“The Roberts Academy is designed to transform the lives of its students,” said Joy Wood, Roberts Academy’s founding head of school. “Children with dyslexia often struggle emotionally and academically in a traditional setting, and it takes a toll on the child and the entire family. But when we put children with dyslexia in a special learning environment like the Roberts Academy, we can change the trajectory of their future.”

The Academy is affiliated with Mercer’s College of Education and is the only school of its kind in Georgia outside of Atlanta. Modeled after the very successful Roberts Academy at Florida Southern College, the mission of the Roberts Academy at Mercer University is to prepare students with dyslexia to achieve academic success through dynamic educational programs.

The Roberts Academy at Mercer University will teach a comprehensive curriculum initially designed for grades 2 through 5 using the Orton-Gillingham approach, a specialized learning method clinically proven to help students with dyslexia. Students attend the Roberts Academy at Mercer University until they have mastered the skills to accommodate their learning differences and are prepared to succeed in a traditional school setting.

Future Speaker Series events will include expert panels addressing practical next steps if dyslexia is suspected as well as high-profile keynotes from nationally renowned dyslexia experts and authors. For more information about the speaker series, visit For inquiries by families of prospective students, prospective employees or others, visit