A gift of words

Dictionaries are powerful tools in the hands of students, and the Silverton Grange Ladies Auxiliary knows that.

So for the past several years the Jackson County, W.Va. group has supplied dictionaries to third grade students at the Southern Elementary School.

`We cherish this opportunity to help a child,` said Auxiliary member Barbara Green. `A dictionary is one of the most powerful reference tools young children are introduced to during the schooling years. Its usefulness goes beyond just providing correct spelling, pronunciation, and definitions. It is also a companion for solving problems that arise as children develop their reading, writing, and creative thinking abilities.`

The Dictionary Project was started by Mary French, of Charleston, S.C. Silverton Grange supports it through its `Words for Thirds` program. This is the third year the Grange has presented dictionaries to Southern Elementary through Southern Principal and Administrative Assistant Scott Wolfe.

Because of the Auxiliary`s significant contributions to school children in the region, Silverton Grange has earned a first place ranking in the State of West Virginia and will be recognized at next year`s national convention.

A primary source of funding for the organization`s community service programs, which includes providing dictionaries for third graders, is the creation and sale of fancy Easter eggs every spring.

`The Grange`s involvement with our students is just one of the many positive things going on here at Southern Elementary,` commented Wolfe.

`This collaboration of community, civic organizations, and hard work from teachers, parents, and students have helped make us a school of excellence.` (Designated in the Ohio Department of Education`s latest report card.)

`We thank the ladies auxiliary for their efforts. Just seeing the pride in each child`s face when they receive their book is a huge reward.

`But the bigger reward is the positive impact that the book itself can have on our kids,` concluded the principal.