The dictionary fairies

Members of the Kiwanis Club of Bellevue-Offutt are doing their part for the Dictionary Project, a nationwide program aimed at improving child literacy.

The group is donating close to 1,300 dictionaries to every school in Bellevue this week, enough to put one in the hands of every third-grader. Third-graders at all Bellevue Public Schools, three Omaha Public Schools and two Papillion-La Vista Schools and all five private/ parochial schools in Bellevue will receive dictionaries.

There were several choices for dictionaries through the Dictionary Project`s Web site (, but the Kiwanis Club of Bellevue-Offutt president Roger Givens said the club decided to pick the kind with the most appendices.

`It has the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, one column on each president, maps and data for each state and country, too,` Givens said, adding that they also have `multiplication tables and the periodic table of the elements. They`re really amazing.`

The dictionaries cost the club about 85 cents each. Half of the sponsorship donation, Givens said, is covered by a grant from Nebraska schools and the other half will be covered when the Kiwanis sell fireworks again this year.

To date, close to 8 million dictionaries have been donated by corporate sponsors and individuals in the Dictionary Project.