In recognition of the efforts the local Scottish Rite Masons have made to tackle the obstacles of dyslexia for more than two decades, Bordentown Township Mayor Stephen Benowitz has proclaimed November as “The Scottish Rite Valley of Central Jersey Month.”
The Scottish Rite Masons, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction (NMJ), have been recognized as national leaders in the effort to help children and their families overcome dyslexia, a learning disorder that incurs difficulty reading, decoding words and processing language.
With more than 40 Dyslexia Centers in 13 states, the Children’s Dyslexia Centers provide free tutoring for children with dyslexia.
At a Township Committee meeting on Oct. 22, Benowitz presented several members of the local Scottish Rite Masons with a framed proclamation on behalf of the township.
Mark Megee, a deputy representative for the Valley of Central Jersey section of the Masons, was on hand to receive the proclamation and said the recognition was symbolic of the organization’s ties to the area.
“I wanted to show our members and our visitors we are proud to be a part of Bordentown with its rich heritage,” Megee said. “[It shows] we are both connected in the community and that we have been a proud part of this community for over 15 years.”
The Scottish Rite, also known as the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite NMJ, was founded in 1813, which came to central New Jersey in 1863. Fifteen years ago, the organization moved its headquarters to a building on Dunns Mill Road in Bordentown.
As an active participant of the Masons since 1999, Megee and his fellow members aim to have a positive impact in communities both locally and nationally, such as organizing charities or sending relief to victims of natural tragedies like hurricanes.
With the members dedicating their time and efforts toward helping people with dyslexia as well, Megee said the experience is gratifying along with the township’s acknowledgment.
“We have dyslexia centers we run free of charge, six in-state, pay for training of the teachers and put more than 1,000 children through it. It’s very rewarding,” Megee said. “As a deputy representative, I wanted to show our Bordentown [group] also celebrates that and that we also have the support of our local township. It gives a focal point to be proud of.”
Although Benowitz’s endowment for the Masons will be celebrated for a month, Megee noted that the recognition from the township will help sustain the organization’s continuous efforts to benefit the region, moving forward.
“It makes a statement that we are a part of the community,” Megee said. “It anchors us into the community as we celebrate November coming up with Thanksgiving and everything else – just being part of the community.”