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“Helping youth deal with a disorder that interferes with life’s most simple tasks.”

Millions of children with dyslexia endure frustration and demoralization daily as they struggle to acquire skills that many of us take for granted. If your child struggles 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 40 Dyslexia Centers in 13 states, the Children’s Dyslexia Centers tackle the challenge of dyslexia head-on by providing free tutoring for children with dyslexia and 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 write. 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. It 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. The earlier they receive it, the greater their chances of achieving normal, fully functional lives.

Our tutor training program is accredited by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC) and the International Dyslexia Association (IDA).

Our Mission

  • To provide individual instruction in reading, writing, and spelling using a proven remediation method for students who have dyslexia and who are performing below their grade level in school.
  • To train teachers to use multi-sensory structured literacy education (MSLE) to address students’ needs in public school settings.
  • To train practitioners to work as MSLE practitioners in the community to aid families who want to provide their child with additional support.

Who do we serve?

  • We serve any family north of Augusta who is willing to travel to the Center.
  • We have an enrollment of approximately 30 students in grades 1-12 per year.
  • We train teachers from private and public schools or any adult with a bachelor’s degree who would like to work with children.

How do we support public schools?

  • The Children’s Dyslexia Center, Inc. has a “school neutral” policy, which means we act only as an educational service for students and not an advocacy group for parents. We respect the right of each school system to select and implement its own remediation programs.
  • Our intensive one-on-one tutoring sessions provide students with the necessary foundation skills to significantly augment the student’s school services.
  • With the passage of the Maine Dyslexia Law and earlier identification of students with dyslexia, teachers are requesting to be trained at the Center resulting in a greater number of students receiving effective remediation with little professional training costs for school systems.

How are we funded?

  • Our primary funding comes from fundraisers, annual appeal campaigns, charitable gifts, and donations. Unfortunately, money from these sources has declined over the years. Since 1994, our sponsoring organization’s membership has decreased by 58%, meaning an increased responsibility on a smaller number of individuals to donate and raise funds.
  • The $10,000 ($5,000 per year for two years) cost to provide services for each student is covered entirely by donations. There is absolutely no cost to families.
  • Trainees pay a small materials fee for the year-long class. Donations cover the remaining class costs.

The Children’s Dyslexia Centers’ Multisensory Structured Literacy Education (MSLE) Training

What is the CDC’s Multisensory Structured Literacy Education (MSLE)?

  • A systematic, structured, phonics-based approach to teaching reading and writing that addresses the learner’s cognitive strengths.
  • An emotionally sound, confidence-building teaching method that employs the Socratic method to lead students to discover language concepts.
  • A child-centered program addressing the individual needs of the learner.
  • A program that relies on the teacher’s knowledge of word structure and the English language to identify the root of a student’s errors and provide immediate and appropriate remediation.
  • Based on a program developed by Samuel Orton and Anna Gillingham in the 1930s.
  • A multisensory method presents concepts about sound and letter correspondences in a concrete manner using blocks and tiles as representations for sounds.
  • A program that develops a student’s phonological awareness skills is the single greatest indicator of reading success.
  • A program that addresses decoding, encoding, comprehension, vocabulary development, morphology, orthography, and fluency.

Who can teach at the Children’s Dyslexia Center?

  • Only professionals who have completed the MSLE Training Course, which includes 51 hours of class time and a 100-hour practicum, are qualified to teach at any Children’s Dyslexia Center.
  • MSLE practitioners are certified by an accrediting organization and must complete continuing education credits to maintain their certification to continue being qualified as a provider of MSLE.

Why does our program stand apart from other educational interventions?

  • Our teacher training program is one of the most intensive teacher training programs offered.
  • It recognizes the neurological basis of dyslexia and provides learning experiences that build new neurological pathways allowing students with dyslexia to comprehend written language.
  • It is individual. Lessons are one-on-one and written specifically for each student.
  • It incorporates the Orton Gillingham method, in practice for 85 years.
  • It incorporates findings from the latest research on reading acquisition.
  • It teaches mastery. A student is not introduced to new material until they reach mastery of old material.
  • It is empowering. Students are led by their tutor to discover new knowledge making the student active participants in the teaching process.
  • Once a student has been taught a language concept, they are responsible for applying it. The tutor cues and guides the student but will never take away the student’s opportunity to arrive at the correct answer on their own.

For more information, visit the Children’s Dyslexia Center website here. 

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