Message from the Executive Director
There is an expression that says, “What we do today ripples throughout time.” Margaret Byrd Rawson’s life was dedicated to improving the lives of dyslexic children. Margaret embodied both the wisdom and knowledge of the science of education, with the art and practice of teaching particularly for those who struggled to learn to read.
She was a true pioneer and leader who influenced education not only in the State of Maryland, but across the nation and the world in her lifelong efforts to improve the quality of education for all children. Margaret passed away at the age of 102, but throughout her life she applied her knowledge, wisdom, and teaching to all who crossed her path. It is difficult, indeed, to describe the creative altruism that emerged from this one woman’s life efforts. She played the role of educator; researcher; sociologist – teaching the first course in ‘language reeducation’ for teachers of dyslexic students; wife; mother; co-founder of countless schools; author of The Many Faces of Dyslexia and Dyslexia Over the Life Span; former president of the Orton Dyslexia Society and then serving on the board for many years; and the society’s honoree. In 1998, the International Dyslexia Association created the Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award in her honor and referred to her as the heart of the organization…how true! In 2004, she was inducted into the Maryland Woman’s Hall of Fame.
Before Margaret passed away in November 2001, she and her co-founders established the Margaret Byrd Rawson Institute whose dedicated mission is to educate students, parents and teachers. Her dream has come true in the unfolding of her Institute. May her life’s efforts live on in service to children, parents and teachers. May the stone she has cast forward, ripple in good works throughout time in all of us, in service to all children, and particularly those who struggle to learn to read. There is much work yet to be done to bring about true equity in education. Our future as a nation, and the world, depends on our ability to create an educated citizenry.
Over the past few years, the MBRI has modernized its vision by launching a website to host an online Institute that will support students, parents, and teachers globally. Generous planning grants from the Prentice Hall Foundation and the Education Foundation of America in 2014 and 2015 have helped to bring this new vision to life. Our plan is to launch a free TeleSummit in 2016 to feature some of the most talented educational experts who are grounded in the Orton-Gillingham methodologies and philosophy. We will also conduct a monthly Webinar series facilitated by experts from around the county on a wide range of educational topics of interest to teachers and parents, with a major focus on the empowerment of the ‘whole’ child.
We have completed the design and technical preparation phases of both of the TeleSummit and Webinar series, and are now ready to launch the Margaret Byrd Rawson Institute’s online programs. In support of these programs, please be sure to do the following:
- Provide us your current email address so that you will be kept up-to-date with all MBRI activities, including providing you with a link to the upcoming Telesummit.
- Make an online tax deductible donation via PayPal to show your support of the MBRI’s exciting online efforts.
- Share your ideas and suggestions of speakers and topics that you feel will be of value to parents and teachers in the future. Please email us or call us anytime!
The 13th century Persian poet Rumi once wrote, “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” The Internet offers us a perfect field in which to build a global educational community where we can discuss and highlight the best teaching practices for students who learn differently, as well as, share the best practices for all students.
We invite you to join with us, share your insights and experience, and honor Margaret’s lifelong dedication and service to students, parents, and teachers everywhere!
Teresa May, Ph.D.
Co-Founder and Executive Director
The Margaret Byrd Rawson Institute