The Scottish Rite Take Flight (Rite Care) Program has certainly come a long way since it started in New Mexico in February of 1989. When Ms. Judy Carter came from Lubbock, Texas directly after completing the training, Masons in New Mexico did not know what a jewel they had just received.
Take Flight is a course of study which addresses dyslexia, a language-based disorder which affects approximately ten percent of children. The program consists of seven books of task based materials which the children are directed through. These books cover phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. This is all very normal "speak" until you start to understand just how much of an effect dyslexia has on the children, who have trouble connecting sounds to symbols. This presents a major block for them to achieve any success within our schools, society, or workforce. This also allows for a gigantic leap of improvement in the programâ€™s graduating students.
Due to the successes shown in Las Cruces, three Masons got together in 2007 to expand the program and its ability to help the children of New Mexico. Ill. and WB Duane Walker, GC and his wife Mary Ann provided an endowment to continuously fund the project, and Ill. and MWB Tom Payne, and MWB Art Tunnel, PGM drafted an agreement that allowed the Lodges to apply to participate in a joint effort with the Scottish Rite.
It is now almost three years later. Four new Scottish Rite Learning Centers are operating on a full time basis. Each center is helping an average of ten students simultaneously, and the average who will graduate from the program each year is now 25-30 children. The toughest part of the program currently is that there are waiting lists at most of the centers. We now have seven teachers (actually, Dyslexia Therapists, though they are much, much more) who teach in and grow the centers:
|Las Cruces Valley Scottish Rite Center||Judy Carter|
|San Juan Lodge No. 25||Dana Reed|
|Bethlehem Lodge No. 56||Arlene Boliver|
|Mesa Lodge No. 68||Annete Talley-Bailey|
|Edgewood Lodge No. 82||Wanda Fishburn|
This program has had such success and "passed the test of time" in Las Cruces, that Ms. Carter has been teaching and working with teachers in the Las Cruces Public Schools. The Learning Center in Las Cruces is currently working with over 75% of the local schools using this program for students who suffer from dyslexia as an RTI (Response to Intervention) answer which falls within the guidelines of "No Child Left Behind". There is also legislation being drafted and presented to take the application of the program state wide.
This program is absolutely free to the children and family. The impact to the children and their family is phenomenal; it is certainly a gift and benefit to the community. Please contact your Scottish Rite District Ambassador or the Secretary for either Valley center to get more information, participate, or apply for your Lodge to participate in this program.