Introduction to the Dictionary Project
We have developed an introductory powerpoint presentation that will give you an overview of our project and what to expect when you participate. (Scroll down to see other resources available to help you plan your dictionary project.)
Letters of Intent
Letters to Superintendent - As a courtesy to the Superintendent who is in charge of the school district where you want to implement the Dictionary Project, we recommend that you send a letter to introduce yourself and your idea to implement the Dictionary Project in a local school. Click here for a sample letter.
Letters to Principal - Contact the school principal to arrange a day to visit the school. Click here to read a sample letter that you can send to the principal to introduce yourself and the program.
Letters to Parents - You may want to give each student a letter to take home to their parents, to explain the program and the civic organization or business sponsoring the Dictionary Project. Click here to see a sample letter to parents. The Malta-McConnelsville Rotary Club sent a distinguished letter to the parents when they did their project in Morgan County; click here to view that letter. Richard G Wallace from the Blairstown Rotary Club in NJ sent us this draft for his Rotary Club's letter to parents, click to view it.
Resources and How-To Manual - You can check this website that was created by the Rotary Club of Ojai-West, an excellent website that includes a How-To and distribution guides.
Dwight Grotewold from Sun Lakes Rotary also shared with us a copy of their How To Manual (click to download) for setting up The Dictionary Project for various clubs.
Labels for Dictionaries
Labels and Bookplates - Some organizations put a bookplate or label in the dictionaries to let the children and their parents know who sponsored the program. Labels are not offered through the Dictionary Project, but you may contact a local printer to make the bookplates or make the labels on a home computer. Click here to see samples of labels used by some of our sponsors. Some groups have sticker parties to put the labels into the dictionaries.
The Silver Lake Kiwanis Club of Everett, WA, makes labels for their books that read,
"This dictionary is a gift to you from the Kiwanis Club of Silver Lake, Washington. It is a gift of words which we believe are the most valuable thing we can give you.When you learn to use a dictionary you are learning about the power of words which you will use the rest of your life.
Write your name here so your book can come home if lost."
If the school is able to give you a list of the students' names, you can personalize the dictionaries before you present them. The Rotary Club of Bunkie, LA, carries this one step further by also having each of the club members sign one of the bookplates, adding a personal message to the student.
Presenting Dictionaries to the Students - When you visit with the students, let them know that you are interested in their education and that you want to see them succeed. Click here for some examples of points to make while visiting the class.
Ideas for Presentations; Dictionary Games - Here are some additional ideas for your presentation. Some of our sponsors have shared how they make their dictionary presentation into a fun and memorable occasion. Click here for games and presentation ideas.
What if there are dictionaries left over? Because the books must be ordered by the case, sponsors sometimes find that they have dictionaries left after their distributions. Click here to read about ideas for places to donate the extra books.
Resources for the Blind and Visually Impaired - Our sponsors occasionally ask us about getting Braille dictionaries for blind and visually impaired children. Unfortunately, we do not have a good source for Braille dictionaries. That's why we want to commend our sponsors who have gone the extra mile to search out Braille dictionaries for children in the schools their projects cover. Their kindness and concern inspire and enrich their communities. Find Resources for the Blind and read success stories here. If you need a large-print dictionary for a visually impaired student, we have Webster's New Explorer Large Print Dictionary, which we can ship individually upon request. Please call the Dictionary Project office for details.
Sample Kits - We will be happy to send samples of the dictionaries we are using for the Dictionary Project this year so that you can see the actual books. You may want to show the samples to school district officials to let them decide which dictionary should be used for the project. To receive a sample of the dictionaries, please send a check for $20.00 ($25 for the Canadian editions) to The Dictionary Project, P. O. Box 1845, Charleston, SC 29402, or click here to order a sample kit online.