All third grade students in Richmond County received a free dictionary Friday courtesy of Rockingham Rotary, as part of the Club`s annual Dictionary Project. The dictionaries were a gift to each student to use at school and at home. Approximately 750 dictionaries were distributed to students across the county during the event.
The goal of the program — to help third grade students become good writers, creative thinkers and increase their vocabulary skills. All the funding is provided by Rockingham Rotary and free to the schools and children.
`The children are always excited about having their own personal dictionary that they can take home and share with their parents and families,` said Anne Edwards, president-elect of the Rockingham Rotary. `It`s great that our club sees the benefit of children expanding their vocabulary.`
The program is part of Rotary`s interest in promoting literacy among children. Rotarians believe third grade is a critical time when students begin to notice the difference in learning to read and reading to learn. They believe it to be one of starting points for all the economic and social opportunities this world has to offer and the `gateway to knowledge for a lifetime.`
The dictionary program is in its fourth year.
`This is a great program,` said Stephanie Allen, a third grade teacher at West Rockingham Elementary. `We use the dictionaries frequently throughout the school year. The students take pride in having their own dictionary.`
Rockingham Rotarians hope that this program, among others, will continue to help improve literacy and the quality of life in the community.