More than 3,500 third graders in 27 elementary schools in Gwinnett and DeKalb counties have received their own personal dictionaries this year through a community service program conducted by the DeKalb-based Atlanta Northlake Elks Lodge 78. For the past six years, members of the Elks Lodge 78 have delivered almost 20,000 dictionaries to students in the two counties.The Dictionary Project was founded in 1995 by Mary French of Charleston, SC. The mission of her nonprofit organization–which the Elks share–is to distribute dictionaries to as many third graders as possible in the United States and its environs.
In 2004, the Elks became involved, and dictionaries have been distributed to every state of the union, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. More than 12 million children have received dictionaries since the program started.
The dictionaries distributed by the Atlanta Northlake Elks, titled ‘The Best Dictionary For Students,’ also contains a table of weights and measures, information on the 50 states and several other factual sections.
Gwinnett elementary schools that received dictionaries were Nesbit, Craig, St. John Neumann Regional Catholic School, Pharr, Lilburn, Grayson, Cooper, Lovin and Beaver Ridge.