Dyslexia - Philanthropic Endeavor for the Valley of Terre Haute



If you missed the news this week, Chris Jena, Sovereign Prince and Colonel Bartley, Past Sovereign Prince, presented a set of Dyslexia learning books to the Vigo County School Corporation.

Click the link below and you will get the actual article and the Photograph of Chris and Colonel holding the books - they represented the Valley of Terre Haute AASR and provided a wonderful and valuable service to our community.

This was a wonderful and ongoing effort from the Valley of Terre Haute that has encompassed several fund raisers through our Valley Golf Outings, raffle (a donated quilt and 3 baskets with items) at the recent Appreciation Banquet and 50/50 raffles.

If you see Chris or Colonel, please congratulate them on the success of this ongoing philanthropic endeavor. Thanks to all who donated to this cause through the purchase of tickets, chance at a hole in one and the Ladies that donated the items for the appreciation Banquet raffle.

Thank each of you for being a member of the Valley of Terre Haute and know we are giving back to our Valley community.


Scottish Rite donates dyslexia materials to VCSC
An ideal philanthropic endeavor for Valley of Terre Haute, official says
By Sue Loughlin >
Nov 30, 2021
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Tribune-Star/Sue Loughlin Books: Colonel Bartleyand Chris Jena, of the Scottish Rite Valley of Terre Haute, donated 720 “decodable” readers to the Vigo County School Corp. to be used with students who have been screened for dyslexia to help with remediation.


Tribune-Star/Sue Loughlin Organizing: Colonel Bartley, past sovereign prince of the Scottish Rite Valley of Terre Haute, organizes “decodable” readers as part of a donation to the Vigo County School Corp. The readers will be used with students who have been screened for dyslexia to help with remediation.

Colonel Bartley credits a second-grade teacher who worked with him one-on-one to help him with his reading challenges.
He had dyslexia, yet with the teacher’s help, he learned to read.
“She cared about me enough to give me extra time ... to help me through it.”
Now 69, Bartley is passionate about dyslexia and helping children who struggle.

Tribune-Star/Sue Loughlin Books: On Monday, the Scottish Rite Valley of Terre Haute donated 720 “decodable” readers to the Vigo County School Corp., to be used with students who have been screened for dyslexia to help with remediation.
On Monday, Bartley — past sovereign prince of the Scottish Rite Valley of Terre Haute — and Chris Jena, current sovereign prince, donated 720 “decodable” readers to the Vigo County School Corp., to be used with students who have been screened for dyslexia.
Decodable books offer beginning and/or struggling readers a chance to practice the phonics skills they have been taught.
Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability; it refers to a cluster of symptoms that result in people having difficulties with specific language skills, particularly reading.
According to the International Dyslexia Association, dyslexia is a neurological condition caused by a different wiring of the brain. There is no cure for it and individuals with this condition must learn coping strategies.
“While dyslexia can make reading more difficult, with the right instruction, almost all individuals with dyslexia can learn to read,” the association website says.
The Scottish Rite’s philanthropic focus is dyslexia, and the local chapter purchased a complete set of the readers for the VCSC to be used in tandem with an intensive reading intervention program called SPIRE.
The Scottish Rite Northern Masonic Jurisdiction supports children dyslexia centers across 15 states from Wisconsin to the east coast, Jena said. In Indiana, Scottish Rite has one dyslexia center located in Indianapolis.
In Terre Haute, “We wanted to help as much as we could,” Jena said. “We contacted VCSC and found out what they used, so we raised money and purchased these supplies,” which cost about $2,000.
“The Scottish Rite’s kind of been soul searching as to what we do and this was an ideal venture we decided to take on,” Jena said.
State law, Senate Enrolled Act 217, requires all Indiana schools to give a screening test for all students in grades K-2 to assess any reading difficulties they might have, said Janet Brosmer, VCSC language arts curriculum coordinator.
The assessments determine those students at risk for reading failure or those who need reading help, she said.
The district screens for reading difficulties, including dyslexia; it is not able to officially diagnose dyslexia.
Students determined to be at risk receive an extra 30 minutes of intervention beyond their normal reading block. The district uses the SPIRE program and teachers have a manual to work with students on skills.
The Scottish Rite donation enables those students to practice what they’ve been learning, Brosmer said. The books will be circulated throughout the district, focusing on students in grades K-2.
Frank Bailey, district reading and writing coach, said the donation is an important part of the district’s efforts to work with students who have reading difficulties.
“It is that cherry on top that allows those students to take the skills they are learning and applying them to a real-world reading situation,” Bailey said.
In 2020-21, the district administered the required assessment to 3,495 students. Out of those, 185 were determined to be at risk for dyslexia and 132 received interventions. Some of the 185 may have moved away or may later have been determined not to need intervention, Brosmer said.
If children continue to struggle with reading despite interventions, referrals are made to Covered Bridge Special Education District. Ultimately, a dyslexia diagnosis would be made by an expert outside of the school system, Bailey said.
Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or at sue.loughlin@tribstar.com Follow Sue on Twitter


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