History and Methodology
In 1994, the Scottish Rite Masons joined forces with the world-renowned Massachusetts General Hospital to launch a major endeavor to help ease the life-long burdens of dyslexia. Until the Children’s Dyslexia Centers were launched in the 15 states of this organization’s Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, no other national charity had adopted this critical need as a major concern. Although studies revealed the existence of remarkably effective programs for treating dyslexia, no one was addressing the issue and its cost to individuals and society in a systematic way.
The Masons made the following philanthropic pledges:
o To help children with dyslexia learn to read and to reach their full potential;
o To help their families end the frustration, guilt and disruption caused by dyslexia;
o To help communities by developing Children’s Dyslexia Centers to help youngsters succeed in and out of school.
Children’s Dyslexia Centers, Inc. provides tutoring at no charge to children from early elementary through high school who have been diagnosed as dyslexic. Children are eligible regardless of economic status or Masonic affiliation. The positive impact of early intervention on the lives of these children and their families is enormous and inspires our commitment to this program.
The curriculum used as the basis for tutoring and tutor training at all Children’s Dyslexia Centers integrates the principles of two of the leading Orton-Gillingham approaches. The Orton-Gillingham approach, developed in the 1920’s, uses a sequential, multi-sensory phonetic approach. Thus, a variety of sensory data is used to help children understand the written word.
School teachers receive training and continuing education credits to become certified Children’s Dyslexia Center tutors. Children are tutored one-on-one twice a week after regular school hours. This allows for the curriculum to be tailored to each individual child as necessary and progress is made in small, readily quantifiable steps. Services provided by the Children’s Dyslexia Centers equip children with the skills and the confidence they need to approach learning with eagerness and without fear.