The gift of words

London Rotary Club Treasurer Jamie Harrison entered a third-grade classroom at Hunter Hills Elementary School Thursday morning with several boxes of brand new Webster`s Dictionaries in tow.
Inside the front cover of the dictionaries was a place for students to sign their names and the Rotary Club`s Four-Way Test, a list of questions members ask themselves before acting on a situation.
The fourth question on that list is `Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?`
`Who knows what beneficial means?` Harrison asked the classroom of third graders.
After a few moments of searching, each student found the word in their new dictionary.
`Beneficial – producing good results.`
It was through this introduction that Harrison told the students the purpose of the dictionaries.
`We want you guys to produce good results,` he said. `Whenever you guys are reading a story and come across a word you don`t know, look it up. It`ll make you a better reader.`
In all, the Rotary Club purchased 960 dictionaries which will be doled out to students in approximately 40 third-grade classrooms in 14 public and private schools in the Laurel County School District. Thursday and Friday, the books will be given out by the club`s approximately 32 members.
This is the second year in a row the London Rotary Club has provided all third graders in the district with the dictionaries.
`It`s a literacy effort because all Rotary Clubs try to do a literacy project each year,` said Rotary Club member Kathryn Hardman.
Funds for the purchase of the dictionaries came from the Rotary Club`s fundraising efforts, such as the pancake breakfast tickets sales.
`This is where your money goes, well, part of it,` Harrison said.
Other funds raised by the Rotary Club are put toward Rotary Park and other projects undertaken by the organization.
Hardman said third grade is the perfect time to give the dictionaries to students because it is the time in their academic careers when they`re starting to come across new words and, in the long run, the books will help the students with two of the `three R`s.`
`They`re doing things in reading and writing that it can be useful to them,` Hardman said.