OREGON MASONIC YOUTH EDUCATION & LITERACY FOUNDATION
The Oregon Masonic Youth Education and Literacy Foundation (OMYELF) was established by Oregon Freemasons to improve the education and literacy opportunities, activities, and capabilities of youth in Oregon. Efforts of OMYELF give students in public and charter schools the tools and support to build a strong education foundation, enabling them to be successful students now and productive citizens in the future.
The programs are listed below and allow all Lodges in this Grand Jurisdiction to help children in their local communities. Monies matched or reimbursed will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis within our fiscal year (April 30 – May 1), until all budgeted funds have been distributed. Applications however, may be submitted year-round.
With generous contributions of time and money by Masons statewide, we can continue to help build a love of learning and make a significant difference in Oregon’s literacy rates, now and for the long-term. This is an opportunity to make an impact that will last forever – making education our legacy.
OMYELF acts as an umbrella foundation for the following programs:
Bikes-For-Books encourages students to develop a love of reading. Students are given a chance to win a bicycle by participating in a reading program administered by the school, sponsored by a partnership with a local Masonic Lodge. We suggest that one boy’s bike and one girl’s are provided at minimum, but many Lodges support six or more bikes a year.
The Grand Lodge of Oregon offers 50% reimbursement with approved applications, repaying fifty cents for every dollar to the Lodge for purchases of bikes and helmets through the Bikes-For-Books program.
Our Unique Opportunity
Through direct partnership with schools, Oregon Freemasons are able to partner with local educators to create new opportunities for students to gain crucial skills for academic success. Through Bikes-For-Books, Masons are able to give back to the community and help children develop reading skills to ensure a strong future of learning.
An extension of an already successful program, Kindles-For-Books targets students beyond the need of a bicycle, who want more access to digital reading material. Students are given a chance to win a Kindle E-reader by participating in a reading program administered by the school, sponsored by a partnership with a local Masonic Lodge.
The Grand Lodge of Oregon offers Kindle E-readers at a 50% discounted price to Lodges to distribute to schools through the Kindles-For-Books program.
While schools are charged with teaching children to read, the cornerstone of literacy is established inside the home, through family engagement. Unfortunately, not all families and schools have the resources to fulfill their important role in the learning process – and that’s where we come in.
Our Unique Opportunity
Through direct partnership with schools, Oregon Freemasons are able to partner with local educators to create new opportunities for students to gain crucial skills for academic success. Through Kindles-For-Books, Masons are able to give back to the community and help children develop reading skills to ensure a strong future of learning.
How It Works
The goal of The Grand Lodge's involvement is to amplify the efforts of the sponsoring Mason or Lodge, to make a bigger impact for the recipients and community. The Grand Lodge of Oregon offers 50% reimbursement with approved applications, repaying fifty cents for every dollar to the Lodge for school-related support through Creating A Partnership.
Example: A school nurse requests help with eye-glasses for a little girl. The Lodge decides to fund the $100 purchase and after submission of a receipt with application, receives a $50 reimbursement from The Grand Lodge of Oregon, boosting future efforts.
While schools are charged with educating children, the cornerstone of literacy is established inside the home through family engagement. Through RAR’s unique “book cuddling” program, parents can use the books to connect with their children – helping them learn to read while creating strong family bonds. By giving families tools and support to build a strong educational foundation for their children, we are impacting the future of thousands of children and families.
To advocate for literacy in your community, partner with the Grand Secretary to bring Raising A Reader to your local schools.
Our Unique Opportunity
Through generous contributions of time and money of our membership, we are supporting a new cycle of literacy by building a love of learning and strengthening family bonds through reading together.
The kit includes crucial information should a child become lost or missing with the child's photograph, fingerprint and description, to have on hand in case of an emergency. The entire process takes only a minute and no information is ever recorded on the computer equipment. The program operates with strict confidentiality.
The Grand Lodge of Oregon offers 50% reimbursement with approved applications, repaying fifty cents for every dollar to the Lodge for purchase of the software and operating equipment required by the Child I.D. program.
Keeping Children Safe in Oregon
The Grand Lodge of Oregon and local Lodges work together to bring this service to Oregon communities to support the safety of our youth. The program, lauded by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, is supported financially by Oregon Freemasons and staffed by volunteers at parades, county fairs, and many local community events.
How It Works
The Grand Lodge of Oregon offers 50% reimbursement of scholarships awarded by Masons or Lodges, repaying fifty cents for every dollar to local Lodges (up to a maximum reimbursement of $500 per Lodge, per year). Qualification(s) for scholarships are determined by the sponsoring Lodge only and questions on specific criteria may be directed to the Lodge Secretary.
Example: Lodge A awards a $500 scholarship, and applies to The Grand Lodge for reimbursement. Payment of $250 would be made back to the Lodge. Lodge B awards a $1,500 scholarship and is reimbursed $500.
How It Works
Three scholarship funds have been selected to support Masonic Youth. Contributions made to any of these specific scholarship funds by either Masonic Lodges or Lodge Brothers will be matched dollar for dollar (up to a maximum reimbursement of $1,000 per donor, per year). This match is awarded to the same fund, increasing the amount of the scholarship.
Contributions must be made to one of the following Masonic youth group scholarship funds to qualify:
- Rainbow - Oregon Grand Assembly Scholarship Fund.
- Job's Daughters - Oregon Job's Daughters Scholarship Endowment.
- DeMolay - Oregon DeMolay Endowment Foundation.
Example: A Mason awards a $500 scholarship to one of the qualifying funds, and applies to The Grand Lodge for a match. An additional payment of $500 would be made to the same youth group fund, doubling his support.
Lodges, PARTICIPATE NOW to increase the impact within your community.
As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, OMYELF relies entirely on private, tax-deductible donations to fund the youth programs. 100% of the funds will be used to mature or develop educational programs in local communities throughout Oregon.
To join Oregon Freemasons in supplying these educational opportunities, please consider becoming a contributor. Donations to OMYELF can be made by anyone, Masonic affiliation is not required. Any amount helps. Donate online or mail donations to The Grand Lodge of Oregon at 2150 Masonic Way, Forest Grove OR 97116.
Any questions regarding OMYELF may be directed to the Grand Lodge office at (503) 357-3158.