2009 Annual Report of the Ritecare Childhood Language Program in South Carolina
It is with great pleasure that the Scottish Rite Foundation of South Carolina, the Board of Trustees and officers, share this Annual Report of our stewardship, service, and passion for Ritecare Childhood Language Disorders program in South Carolina. Every member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and indeed the members of Freemasonry in South Carolina, are exceedingly fortunate to have a dedicated and wonderful staff that provides world class speech and language services to those families of preschool aged children in South Carolina, as part of our Masonic Philanthropy.
Reflecting upon the year that was 2009, we find two major themes that underscore our year of service excellence. First, our continued efficiency in delivering childhood language therapy and secondly, during one of the most difficult financial periods in our history of charitable giving, Scottish Rite members’ dedication to our Rite Care program was exceptional, given the number and results of fundraising projects.
In 2009, the Scottish Rite Foundation of South Carolina operated three Rite Care Centers in Columbia, Greenville and Charleston which provided, professional speech therapy, parent education and training support, graduate student training, and our Scottish Rite Pediatric Language Conference funded by thousand of hours of volunteer and fund-raising support. In this issue you will find details of each center’s operations and results.
Our program offers professional evaluation, state of the art speech and language diagnostic and remediation therapy. In 2009, our Rite Care program served a monthly average enrollment of 86 families with a budget of $338,187. Services were provided at no charge to the families, through the support of our members, the many volunteer fundraising projects, partnerships, gifts and grants from foundations.
Our goal is to aid and assist preschool aged children and families that need speech therapy so that, with proper remediation the child can begin their formal education prepared to succeed. The research indicates that as many as 15% of children in South Carolina are affected with speech, language and learning disorders, that if left untreated lead to educational and developmental deficits. These children fall behind quickly and enter special services in the educational system. A larger percentage of these children drop out of school and enter the juvenile justice system. Remediation at the earliest possible age is proven to dramatically improve the educational quality and success of the child.
The Scottish Rite continues to support the role of public education for all children in South Carolina so that we provide for an educated and capable, productive and contributing member of society. Our program of successful intervention services continue to make a difference where we operate. Our long range vision is to fund and operate in such a manner to expand services to more communities in our state. We continue to have a tremendous opportunity to assist our State, communities and most importantly the lives of those children in need. Thanks to the many Scottish Rite Brothers and the countless volunteers that make this program possible. If you have not been involved, please consider joining this laudable and noble cause of the Scottish Rite for the betterment of the communities in which we serve. I challenge any Scottish Rite member in South Carolina to visit our centers and see first hand what your Scottish Rite is doing to make a difference.
Michael D. Smith
Chairman, Scottish Rite Foundation of South Carolina
Sovereign Grand Inspector General in South Carolina