Children’s Dyslexia Center of Portland
Millions of school children with dyslexia endure frustration and demoralization on a daily basis as they struggle to acquire skills that many of us take for granted. If your child is struggling with reading and writing, how do you know if dyslexia is the cause? Where can you go for help?
For over two decades, the Scottish Rite Masons, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, have been national leaders in the effort to help children and their families overcome the painful obstacles of dyslexia. With more than 50 active Dyslexia Centers in 13 states, the Children’s Dyslexia Centers tackle the challenge of dyslexia head-on, both by providing free tutoring for children with dyslexia and by training a growing cadre of highly skilled and dedicated tutors.Dyslexia is an inherited neurological disorder that affects the way people learn to read and speak as well as how they process things mathematically. Famous dyslexics include Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, Leonardo DaVinci, Walt Disney, Tom Cruise and Whoopi Goldberg.
Dyslexia affects one out of every five people, and affects boys and girls in equal numbers. Children left with untreated dyslexia often suffer devastating personal consequences. It is the number one reason teenagers drop out of school, and is a primary factor in juvenile delinquency. Research reveals that children with untreated dyslexia can become underachieving adults unable to contribute to society at their fullest capacity. Dyslexia is, however, a treatable condition. Children with dyslexia need professional help, and the earlier they receive it, the greater their chances of achieving normal, fully functional lives.
32° Masonic Learning Centers for Children, Inc.
The newest charity was established in 1994 to provide dyslexic children with specialized one-on-one tutoring to enable them to cope with their deficit in reading and writing. While dyslexia cannot be cured, it can be treated. The 32° Masonic Learning Centers for Children are situated throughout the 15-state jurisdiction.
Students are accepted into the learning centers program at no charge to their parents or to any schools from which they are referred. Applicants are not judged on the basis of economic status, race, religion or Masonic affiliation.
Leon M. Abbott Scholarships
In 1922, a college scholarship program was inaugurated with an initial appropriation from Supreme Council funds. In 1932, Leon M. Abbott bequeathed additional funds to establish an Education and Charity Fund. The first Abbott scholarship was not awarded until 1951, when the fund reached the financial goal set by Abbott.
For many years, the scholarships were presented to journalism students at selected universities throughout the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. In 1984, it was voted to expand the scholarship program by awarding grants to children and grandchildren of Scottish Rite members and to young people active in the youth groups affiliated with the Masonic fraternity. The first academic year was 1985-86, when the funds were allocated for 68 scholarships. As the allocation increased, the number of recipients has grown.
In 1934, the Scottish Rite Supreme Council appropriated funds for research into the causes and potential cures for schizophrenia. At the time, the disease was known as demential praecox. The funds were directed through the National Committee for Mental Hygiene and later through the National Association for Mental Health.
In 1970, administrative duties for the Scottish Rite Schizophrenia Research Program were handled by a Supreme Council committee. A professional advisory committee reviewed annually a substantial number of proposals and recommended the recipients of the research grants. By 1998, the emphasis shifted to fellowships presented to postgraduate students preparing dissertations in fields pertinent to discovering a cure for schizophrenia. A select group of universities throughout the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction choose the recipients.
National Heritage Museum
Opened in 1975 as a bicentennial gift to the nation from the 32° Scottish Rite Masons, the National Heritage Museum provides changing exhibits of Americana, interspersing the role of the fraternity in American life. The facility is located in Lexington, Massachusetts adjacent to the Supreme Council headquarters and is open to the public seven days a week with no admission charge.
In addition to the exhibition galleries, the building also contains an extensive Masonic library and a large collection of fraternal paraphernalia. Traveling exhibits expand the museum’s scope to reach those living at a distance.