The Lewis School of Princeton, founded in 1973 by Marsha Gaynor Lewis, is an internationally recognized, co-educational, independent private day school whose combined resources are dedicated to providing exceptional multisensory educational opportunity for bright, creative young men and women who learn differently. During the past 41 years the school has helped thousands of young people who learn differently thrive and succeed in their educational pursuits. Early on the Lewis School successfully galvanized local community interest in and understanding of the struggles experienced by children with dyslexia. Lewis was among the first to bring the challenges of dyslexia and language-based learning issues to the attention of the greater Princeton community.
The school also helped students develop self-esteem and a sense of worth as it recognized the many gifts, talents, and great promise among dyslexic students. Their educational challenges were understood not as disabilities but as distinctive learning differences, coupled with remarkable capacities of human perception and original thought. In the early 1970s the Lewis School also helped identify what are now termed “twice exceptional” students, those with significant language-based processing difficulties and competitive intellectual and creative acumen. For example, poets who couldn’t spell, students who struggled with computation but not mathematical reasoning, and gifted artists with illegible handwriting. Lewis not only wanted to help young dyslexic children to repair academically but also middle schoolers, college bound upper schoolers, young people, and adults. Lewis pioneered and advanced the roots of a new multisensory education across the entire curriculum to address the complex needs of a diverse student body.
Hundreds of teachers have been and continue to be trained in the Lewis Diagnostic Clinic and with master teachers in the school to deliver this education. It is difficult now to find an educational resource, private or public, in the greater Princeton area that has not been influenced by the Lewis School. The mission of the Lewis School has also influenced educators worldwide; as a result students throughout the country and elsewhere are learning to learn using methodology and approaches established by Marsha Gaynor Lewis.
As the school’s accreditation process proceeds and the vision expands and reaches farther to help underserved children with dyslexia, the school’s Tree of Light shines at this holiday time as it has for more than 40 years, as a symbol of hope for all students who learn differently and, especially for those who remain without educational opportunity for a brighter future.
Lewis School of Princeton, 53 Bayard Lane, Princeton. 609-924-8120. www.lewisschool.org.