Event aids Children’s Dyslexia Center

The Children’s Dyslexia Center of Steubenville that operates out of the Masonic Temple at 227 N. Fourth St., Steubenville, held a first-time fundraiser on Feb. 9 that is hoped to become an annual event.

It was called “Purses for a Purpose” and involved a luncheon, donated purses auctioned off thanks to the auctioneering skills of Gary Gain and Harry Grafton of Gary Cain Realty & Auctioneers. There also were a variety of door prizes for the audience of approximately 75 center supporters on hand to claim and take home.

The designer bags up for auction included Coach, 31, Miche, Vera Bradley and Kenneth Cole, but there also were several totes designed and hand-crafted by local artisans in addition to some that were sports or seasonally themed.

All told, there were 42 purses and as many door prizes at the event, according to Nicole Brown, the center’s director, who said the purses and door prizes represented donations from the center staff members, tutors, parents, board members and the community.

The food for the luncheon also was donated.

“We are trying to raise money to meet a $30,000 deficit that we are facing,” Brown explained. It takes $5,000 for one year – that’s what it costs to have the program up and running for one child, so it’s $5,000 for one child to attend here, and parents do not pay anything for that,” she said.

The learning center was established by the Scottish Rite Northern Masonic Jurisdiction and the Valley of Steubenville, specifically for children in grades kindergarten through 12, according to the website. The center is in the former library space of the Steubenville Masonic Temple.

It helps children affected by dyslexia learn to read and reach their full potential, according to the website which notes the one-on-one Orton-Gillingham lessons are free of charge to children accepted into the program.

Selection is based on mental and verbal ability, as well as measures of reading achievement as determined by a psychologist or educational specialist. After entering the program, standardized reading tests and curriculum based measurements of language skills are given in order to monitor the child’s progress. Referrals may be made by the parent with the support of teachers, school principals, school psychologists and doctors, it notes.

“I am very pleased with the turnout,” Brown said. “It is for a wonderful cause.”

At present, the center has six teachers and 12 students but can accommodate more.

This marks the 10th year the center has been in operation.

The center provides multisensory reading and written language tutorial services for children with dyslexia through its program.

This service is a Sottish Rite, Masonic and community partnership.

For information about the center, how to donate and how to become a student or tutor, call (740) 282-4875 or send an e-mail to masoniclc@sbcglobal.net.

Lynn McLeish is the office manager.