Rotary on a roll: three projects, 66 dictionaries, 125 turkeys and $36,500 worth of worldwide food

 The Ely Rotary Club has been busy over the last several weeks bringing three projects to fruition that will benefit their fellow humans….
The third Rotary project started about three weeks ago in collaboration with the Words by the Numbers Dictionary Project.

Words by the Numbers is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to `put words into the hands of children so they can learn to express their thoughts and appreciation for each other and the world where they live.`

Ely Rotarians Betsy Leustek, Doug Hirdler and Gordon Sheddy traveled to third-grade classes in Ely and Babbitt to deliver dictionaries for each student in the class.

Leustek said the reception was unbelievable.

`The kids loved the dictionaries. The extra subjects in the back of the book fascinated them. It`s one of those references a third-grader can read and comprehend.`

She added that the dictionaries are grade-level specific with all sorts of trivia and interesting facts on topics like the solar system, countries of the world, metric conversions and sign language.

One of the biggest hits was the longest word in the English language. Though too long to print here, suffice it to say it`s an enzyme with 1,909 letters. Try pronouncing that one during casual conversation.

Beyond the satisfaction of helping the students learn, Leustek said they were touched by how it affected the boys and girls. The Rotarians realized that even in Ely and Babbitt this was the first book many of the students received that they could call their own.

`They looked up and asked if they could really take it home and not leave it in their desks at school,` Leustek said. `For something so inexpensive to purchase wholesale, it was rewarding.`

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