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The Scottish Rite RITECARE

Childhood Language Clinics

There is probably nothing more emotionally moving than to witness helpless children in pain or distress. They turn to us—hoping, pleading with their eyes that we do something to help them. Modern science, fortunately, is now able to cure more and more physical afflictions of young people. Surgery or therapy can correct or minimize the effects of many birth defects. Each year chemotherapy and radiation save thousands of once terminally ill children.

Psychiatry reaches the mentally disturbed child, restoring a happy normalcy. We in the Scottish Rite are gratified to be involved in the humanitarian movement to aid children by helping to relieve some of the most distressing childhood disorders. The Supreme Council’s RITECARE Childhood Language Disorders Program, now operating in each of our 37 Orients within the United States and Puerto Rico, serves, without regard to race, color, or creed, thousands of children who are afflicted with conditions that severely hamper their speaking, reading, and writing abilities. The afflicted child, if diagnosed early and given appropriate specialized help, can become a fully functioning and productive citizen. If not assisted, the child may become instead a heartbreaking liability for the family and for the state.

The initial interest of The Supreme Council in helping children with communication problems followed the lead of the Denver and Rocky Mountain Scottish Rite Bodies, which in 1952 had created a philanthropic foundation in Colorado to treat children with aphasia, the result usually of a brain injury impairing the ability to use words. In 1958, the Scottish Rite’s involvement in childhood aphasia expanded to California where a similar project was supported by an Orient foundation. As the zeal for this worthwhile charitable program spread, more and more Orients (states) became active participants. In 1986, under the leadership of Grand Commander C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33°, The Supreme Council implemented a Scottish Rite Credit Card Program, which not only provides a service to our members but also generates substantial ongoing revenues for the support of our RITECARE Childhood Language Disorders Program. Funds received from this program enable us to provide financial assistance to the Orients that, in turn, help advance the Scottish Rite’s work with childhood language disorders. These funds help to support existing clinics and to establish new ones.

Grand Commander Kleinknecht has succeeded in making the Scottish Rite Foundation, Southern Jurisdiction, U.S.A., Inc., much more active in generating funds for the clinics, centers, and programs.

Nothing succeeds like success! From 1985 to 2002, the number of facilities and programs has grown to 161, with more clinics being established each year. Also, many of the existing clinics have continued to expand their services. From its inception, the Scottish Rite RITECARE Childhood Language Disorders Program has helped tens of thousands of children with aphasia and/or dyslexia and a wide variety of other related language and learning disorders.

The Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite officially adopted a similar program. The 32° Masonic Learning Centers for Children program was established in 1994 to provide dyslexic children with specialized tutoring to enable them to read and write more effectively.

This service, offered free, will be offered at 55 centers in the 15-state jurisdiction by 2003. Twenty-four centers are open to date, already resulting in many success stories of young children being able to overcome their disability. In the year 2000, the Northern Supreme Council has appropriated $4 million to the building and maintenance of the learning center program. This brings the current total clinics to 216, thus making the American Scottish Rite’s flagship philanthropy truly nationwide.

Both nationally and on the local level, this philanthropic program has made tremendous strides because our members sincerely care about helping children with communication disorders.

Information regarding the RITECARE program and the location of clinics may be obtained by contacting the Scottish Rite Bodies in your locality or by calling The Supreme Council at 1-800-SRMASON for a copy of the brochure entitled “H.E.L.P., Help Eliminate Language & Learning Problems in Children.”

In addition to the 161 Language Clinics, there are also two Scottish Rite Hospitals for Children, one in Dallas, Texas, and the other in Atlanta, Georgia.

These hospitals were established in 1909 and 1920, respectively, and were the precursors to the system of Shriners Hospitals, and both are still in full operation, helping children with a wide variety of physical ailments, regardless of ability to pay.

Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Clinics that are located in Kansas are:

Schiefelbusch Clinic Kansas University
2101 Haworth Hall
Lawrence, KS 66045-0239
Telephone: (785) 864-4690
Fax: (785) 864-5094
Off. Mgr./Contact Person:  Bobby Trowbridge
Director: Jane R. Wegner


KUMC (Kansas University Medical Center)
Hearing and Speech Clinic
2901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, KS 66160
Telephone: (913) 588-5937
Fax: (913) 588-5923
Coord./Contact Person: Nancy Martin
Director: Debbie Daniels


Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic
Wichita State University
5015 E. 29th Street No.
Wichita, KS 67260-0099
Telephone: (316) 978-3289
Fax: (316) 978-7264
Coord./Contact Person: Jill Champley
Director: Trisha Self, Ph.D.



These clinics will be operated by the graduate students and supervising personnel in the fields of Speech and Language Pathologies, with a goal towards helping children while teaching the necessary skills to the students.

Please note that at this time, the Kansas Scottish Rite Foundation does not sponsor the purchase of Hearing Aids.

Please be advised that as these are University operated clinics, there are scheduled breaks during summer and winter times, during the semester breaks.

As a referral from the Scottish Rite, a child is initially interviewed and evaluated to determine the necessary steps to correct the problems that he or she may be experiencing. This initial evaluation will generally be paid for by the family. If the family has insurance available, it may or may not be used, but the child will be accepted even if there are no other methods for payment, if it is determined that the personnel at the clinic can help. Please contact the nearest clinic for more information.

Applications for assistance can be taken over the phone in many cases, or are available at the Southeast Kansas Scottish Rite, P O Box 789, Fort Scott, KS 66701-0789, phone 620-223-1330.

For more information about the RITECARE Childhood Language Clinics, or to find the nearest one in your area, click on the link below, which will take you to the Supreme Council, 33°, Southern Jurisdiction website:

Valley of Southeast Kansas, A. & A. S. R.
Executive Secretary
P. O Box 789
Fort Scott, Kansas, 66701
Phone: 620-223-1330

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