The Great Lesson of Charity
The universal charity of a Mason is the charity of his heart and of his love. Within the compass of his mind, he measures and draws the Square of his conduct, and within that square, having honestly provided for his own household, he forms his little angles of benevolence and charity to the distressed of all communities. He visits the sick and the infirm, the fatherless and the widow, not out of idle curiosity, but from the impulse of a loving heart, by a kind word, and a helping hand, he keeps himself unspotted from the evil of the world. This is true Masonic charity, and the conduct of every true Mason.
As Masonic charity is charity of the heart; he thinks no evil of his brother; he cherishes no designs against him. It is charity of the tongue also; he speaks no evil; bears no false witness; defames no character; blasts no reputation, he knows that to take away a good name is to commit an evil, the damage of which no wealth can repay. Also, it is charity of the hand; he anticipates his Brother’s wants, he finds the one in need, feeds the hungry, helps the sick, and perhaps also to the very mind he ought to instruct to build a temple perfect in all its parts.
Thus the heart, the tongue, the hand, and the mind of the truely free and accepted Mason are warmly engaged and diligently exercised in all those grand principals of Masonic charity.
This lesson on charity is provided by http://www.masoniclibrary.org.au/research/list-lectures/110-the-foundations-of-a-mason.html.
Prior to 1998, the Grand Lodge of Louisiana’s major philanthropy was the Masonic Children’s Home in Alexandria, LA; however, due to changes in federal regulation, the Grand Lodge was forced to close the facility in 1994. In 1998, the Grand Lodge of Louisiana and its membership chose to take on the task of helping children with dyslexia as its major philanthropy to replace its efforts previously provided by the Masonic Children’s Home. The Dyslexia Training Program was established under the Masonic Learning Center of Louisiana and works on a cooperative basis with the local masonic lodges and communities to address the manifestations of dyslexia in the classroom.
Our mission is to serve our state and local communities in guiding and addressing the manifestations of dyslexia in the classroom. Our goal is to provide community learning centers for all children with dyslexia, regardless of parental income or location, and to furnish special instruction to children with dyslexia who are not otherwise receiving adequate services/who need extra help to permit them to cope successfully with their condition so that the each child is given the ability to succeed in life at their full potential.
The Dyslexia Training Program is a multi-sensory program of instruction that emphasizes phonics and is taught by a teacher/facilitator to classes of limited size using a number of teaching aids including video recordings, workbooks, writing frames, linkage paper, three dimensional letters, flash cards, wall charts, dictionaries, and other items. The primary program consists of 350 hours of classroom time which is conducted one  hour per day, five  days per week, excluding holidays. In order that the students may all be age appropriate and comply with the elements of the disorder, we accept only those children who are in grades 4, 5, or 6; who have not yet attained the age of 13; who are free of other impeding conditions; and who have a full-scale I.Q. of at least 90 as determined by the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, 3rd Edition.
There is also a 160-hour program for youth older than the age of 13. This one-year program provides instruction for students in the 7th grade through 11th grade. Each class is conducted by a teacher/facilitator who is certified to teach in Louisiana. The location of each class is hosted in various physical facilities, including: Masonic Lodge buildings, churches, schools, or other specified entities. The average cost per student in a 350-hour training period is $2,945. Average cost per 1-hour of instruction is $8.41 and totals to $42.07/week; or $169.29/month, for each student being instructed.
Please note that NO CHARGE is made to the student, parent, or guardian for testing, materials, or instruction.
Dyslexia is an unexpected difficulty in reading. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition, by poor spelling and decoding abilities that are often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language.
(Overcoming Dyslexia, Shaywitz, 2003, p.2)
For purposes of the Dyslexia Training Program, the term “dyslexia” is defined as a learning disorder in persons who are intelligent, who suffer from no other physical, emotional, psychological, or psychiatric conditions which act as an impediment to learning but who, nevertheless, are unable to learn to read, write, spell, and comprehend the language as expected from exposure to a normal classroom experience. The exact causes of dyslexia are still not completely clear, but brain imaging shows differences in the way the brain of a dyslexic person develops and functions. These brain imaging studies demonstrate an inefficient functioning of those neural systems for reading in dyslexic readers.
(Shaywitz & Shaywitz, 2012).
The impact that dyslexia has is different for each person and depends on the severity of the condition and the effectiveness of instruction or remediation. The core difficulty is with getting to the sounds of spoken words which leads to a range of predictable difficulties in both spoken and written language.
People with dyslexia have problems with spoken language, even after they have been exposed to good language models in their homes and good language instruction in school. They may find it difficult to express themselves clearly, or to rapidly find the word they mean to say, especially when placed in high anxiety producing situations such as oral exams or when called upon in class. It is important that parents and teachers and oral examiners are aware of these word retrieval difficulties so that children who know what they want to say but can’t retrieve the correct word are not unduly penalized. Dyslexic students have difficulty getting to the sounds of spoken words. Dyslexia interferes with attaching the letters in a word to the individual sound(s) they represent- a process necessary in order to sound out an unknown word. As a result, children who are dyslexic experience difficulties decoding words, reading words automatically and rapidly (fluently) and spelling. Many individuals with dyslexia especially when provided with excellent and early instruction learn to read though their reading remains slow and laborious. It is critical that these dyslexic readers are provided with evidence-based effective interventions early on and with accommodations such as the provision of extra time. This extra time is critical during the whole life of a dyslexic student especially for high stakes tests including college, graduate and professional school entrance exams.