About Margaret Byrd Rawson Institute

“There is an expression that says, “What we do today ripples throughout time.” Margaret Byrd Rawson’s life (1899-2001) 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 roles 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 - 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. 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, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, whose dedicated mission is to educate students, parents and teachers. Her dream has come true in the development 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 out in good works throughout time in all of us, in service to all children, 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 to host an online Institute that will support students, parents, and teachers globally. Generous grants from several foundations, including the Harris Family Foundation, and individual contributions have helped to bring this new vision to life.

In our telesummit, we are proud to be featuring innovative and talented educational experts and professionals. Several of our speakers are grounded in the Orton-Gillingham methodologies and philosophy that Margaret so deeply supported.

The 13th century Persian poet Rumi once wrote, “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing 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!

Quotes by Margaret Byrd Rawson

“Education is all of Life - We need knowledge and experience for understanding. Training and practice for mastery. And a spirit of empathy suffusing it all.” Margaret Byrd Rawson

Teach the language as it is to the child as he or she is.“ Margaret Byrd Rawson

A child only gets one childhood. “ Margaret Byrd Rawson

The differences are personal, the diagnosis is clinical, the treatment is educational, the understanding is scientific.” Margaret Byrd Rawson and Roger Saunders

It is toward the liberation of the individual human capacities through which dreams and possibilities can be realized that our work has been directed. One can talk of possibilities in general terms but it is individual persons in all their variety, who dream the dream, make the discoveries, revive old truths, and envision the new ones they may bring into being. It is the innate capacity in each person that society needs to nurture as individuals discover their full selfhood through their own experience within each single human lifetime.” Margaret Byrd Rawson, 1995 in Dyslexia Over the Lifespan (P. 173).