Children's Dyslexia Center of Western PA
A Scottish Rite Charity, 32° Freemasons Helping Children
Reading and writing are two of the most critical skills we can teach our children.
Children with Dyslexia have difficulty with these skills. Our mission... to help children learn to read and write.
Please see the Events page for information about upcoming events that benefit the Children's Dyslexia Center.
We're bringing the joy of reading and learning to children with dyslexia, a free service for these children, and you can help.
For information please contact:
Children's Dyslexia Center of Western PA
110 East Lincoln Ave.
New Castle, PA 16101
Melissa J. Merritt, Director
And, please visit: Children's Dyslexia Centers, Inc.
What is dyslexia?
It manifests primarily as a difficulty with written language, particularly with reading and spelling. It is separate and distinct from reading difficulties resulting from other causes, such as a non-neurological deficiency with vision or hearing, or from poor or inadequate reading instruction. Evidence also suggests that dyslexia results from differences in how the brain processes written and/or spoken language. Although dyslexia is allegedly the result of a neurological difference, it is not an intellectual disability. Dyslexia has been diagnosed in people possessing all levels of intelligence. Dyslexia is an impairment in your brain's ability to translate written images received from your eyes into meaningful language. Also called specific reading disability, dyslexia is the most common learning disability in children, affecting 5 percent or more of all elementary-age children. Dyslexia may occur in children with normal vision and normal intelligence. Children with dyslexia usually have normal speech, but often have difficulty interpreting spoken language and writing. Treatment for dyslexia may involve a multisensory education program. Emotional support of your child on your part also plays an important role.
Perhaps dyslexia can be most easily defined by looking at the word itself. The word dyslexia, pronounced (dis-lek-see-uh) comes from the Greek words δυσ- dys- ("impaired or without") and λÎξις lexis ("word"). DYSLEXIA means: WITHOUT WORDS.
We're making a difference for children with dyslexia.
Dyslexia is estimated to affect some 15% of our population - more than 2 million school-age children in the United States. Although these children typically have average or above-average intelligence, their dyslexia can create difficulties not only with reading, writing and spelling but also with listening, thinking, talking and arithmetic. These academic problems can lead to emotional and self-esteem problems throughout their lives. With early diagnosis and appropriate instruction, these children can learn - and can enjoy learning - at their own age level. But programs to treat dyslexia have been few and far between. Most communities have little or no funding to support the facilities and staffing needed to properly address this disability.
Offering services free of charge.
In creating the Children's Dyslexia Center, it has been our mission to provide professional treatment - free of charge - to children with dyslexia. Services are made available to children on a first-come, first-served basis. We're also committed to increasing public awareness of dyslexia as well as improving the standards of care through research and education.
Reaching more children.
In the years to come, we expect to have at least 55 Learning Centers operating throughout the 15-state Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. These Learning Centers will bring our free services and proven teaching methods to more communities and to more children.
Setting high standards.
Each Learning center provides a highly qualified staff specially trained in the treatment of dyslexia. After professional assessment and evaluation of a student's needs, the staff then provides customized one-on-one instruction using a variety of techniques. In addition, each Learning Center provides training for local teachers or volunteers who want to tutor children with dyslexia.
Supported by Freemasonry.
In 1994 the Supreme Council of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Northern Masonic Jurisdiction adopted the Learning Center Program as its fourth Charity. The Children's Dyslexia Center is a nonprofit corporation established for the purpose of creating and operating Learning Centers throughout the 15 states within the Scottish Rite Northern Jurisdiction.
Finding new ways to defeat dyslexia.
Since 1994, hundreds of children have received free specialized instruction at the Learning Centers, enabling them to overcome the effects of dyslexia. We are pledged to continue to offer this service to as many children as we can - free of charge. In addition to serving more children through a growing number of Learning Centers, we provide guidance and funding for other means to defeat dyslexia, such as teacher tutor programs, research, and scholarships for teachers.
Growing with the help of many.
While all contributions benefit children with dyslexia, donors to the Children's Dyslexia Center can designate how they want their gifts to be used. The Children's Dyslexia Center is exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service and all contributions are tax deductible.
Meeting the challenge of dyslexia.
A small boy sits at his desk, looking down at his open book as his classmates read aloud. He wrinkles his forehead and squints his eyes but the letters and words he sees are jumbled, twisted, senseless. He grips the book tighter, holds his breath and makes a silent wish that the teacher will not call on him... This child has dyslexia, a common learning disability. He needs help to overcome it before it sets him back emotionally as well as educationally. Where will he get the help he needs?
Mary had a little lamb. These familiar lines are easy to read and fun for most school-aged children. But for a child with dyslexia, reading brings nothing but frustration. Here's the same passage as seen through the eyes of a child with dyslexia: Mar gha dal it tie lamd.
With letters flipped and words broken in the wrong places, the passage is simply impossible to read. It's easy to see why a child with dyslexia loses interest in reading, writing and other academics. Without specialized help, these children face serious stumbling blocks throughout their school years and beyond. Techniques that use a variety of senses - such as drawing letter shapes in a sand tray - give children alternative ways to learn. The Children's Dyslexia Center has been created specifically for the purpose of providing free specialized training and tutoring to children with dyslexia. It is the aim of the Learning Centers to equip these children with the skills and confidence they need to approach learning with eagerness and without fear.