Rotarians give kids personal dictionaries

 In an era when students can locate correct spellings or word definitions by using their computer or smart phone, local Rotarians showed 309 third graders how effective a dictionary, in book form, can be to help them look up words, learn new ones and become accurate spellers, good writers and better communicators.

"Rotarians are interested in helping children learn. We want students to know what words mean, how to spell words correctly and how to pronounce new words. That’s why we give them a dictionary, a ‘Gift of Words,’" April Welshans, Rotary Dictionary Project chairman, said.

"It’s a rewarding and fun experience to deliver the dictionaries to the schools, present them to the students and see the happy expressions on their faces when they get the books," added Rotarian Mary White, who gave dictionaries to third graders at the Lock Haven Catholic School.

Rotary provides third graders with their first personal dictionary, a gift that can assist them with their homework and promote literacy and learning.

It’s a nice project, according to Keystone Central School District Superintendent Kelly Hastings.

Lock Haven Rotary Club members Cindy Love, Ben Blascovich, Beverly Bower, White, Harlan Berger, Loretta Coltrane, Brent May, Elizabeth Eckley and Welshans visited third-grade classrooms in Clinton County to distribute the free dictionaries, encouraged students to look up new words, talked about the Rotary wheel logo and Rotary Four-Way Test, and explained how Rotarians do volunteer work in their local communities and in international communities to help people have better lives.

Dictionaries were distributed to students at Dickey Elementary in Bradley McCloskey’s and Jason Koback’s classes; Rikki Nevins class at Lamar Township; Barbara Kinley’s and Lana Weaver’s classes at Liberty-Curtin; Sarah Hanson’s class at Lock Haven Catholic School; Teresa Wert’s class at Lock Haven Christian School; Renee Serafini’s and Amanda Confer classes at Mill Hall Elementary; Nadine Gorham’s and Bridget Veltri’s classes at Robb Elementary; Pamela Rockey’s and Ruth Brickley’s classes at Woodward Elementary; Jaime Strunk’s class at Sugar Valley Elementary; and Cara Miller’s class at Sugar Valley Charter School.

The Lock Haven Rotary Club meets Tuesdays at noon at Haywood’s on the Green. For more information about Rotary literacy and other community service projects, contact club President Brent May at