Rotary continues tradition of giving new dictionaries to Danville third graders

Even in this high-tech age, kids still get excited when they receive a new book, said Kathy Chiverton of Danville Rotary.

Recently the group, along with four other local Rotary Clubs, gave new dictionaries to 2,226 third grade students in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District.

Chiverton coordinated Danville Rotary’s dictionary effort at Montair, Vista Grande, Green Valley, and Sycamore Valley elementary schools in Danville.

All other elementary schools in the district also received dictionaries.

The local program, which began in 1998, is part of Rotary International’s longtime participation in the youth literacy initiative, The Dictionary Project, which has given out over 14,490,880 dictionaries.

Chiverton said they focus on third graders because they are actively reading, connecting with words, expanding their vocabulary and learning to express themselves.

Dictionary Project organizers say "educators see third grade as the dividing line between learning to read and reading to learn."

The goals of project are "to assist all students in completing the school year as good writers, active readers and creative thinkers."

Organizers hope children will "grow up better prepared to compete in the global economy."

Chiverton said the dictionary give-away at Green Valley made kids curious about the world beyond Danville. She said many kids asked about Rotary International and the locations where the group does their work.

Danville Rotary, established in 1954, is the oldest Rotary Club in the San Ramon Valley. They are part of Rotary International, which has over 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. The organizations was established in Chicago in 1905.

Danville Rotary meets each Monday at Faz restaurant, 600 Hartz Ave. in Danville. All meetings are open to the public. For more information, contact Steve Kay, Membership Chair at, or call 925-518-7137.