Virginia Rotary Club donates dictionaries to area schools

 The dictionaries the Virginia Rotary Club donated to third graders at Parkview Learning Center will come in handy this spring.

During the last quarter of the year, students are given a `word a day` to define, represent and use in a sentence, said Parkview third grade teacher Sharon Keute.

`It was very nice,` she said of the Club`s gift during distribution of the dictionaries to students at the school Friday.

Virginia Rotarians, via The Dictionary Project, purchased more than 210 dictionaries for third graders in Virginia, Mountain Iron-Buhl and Eveleth-Gilbert schools, said Jim Eberius, club secretary. Dictionaries will be distributed to the other schools this week.

Through The Dictionary Project, a non-profit organization based in South Carolina, more than 9.6 million children nationwide have received personal dictionaries for both school and home use. The organization`s goal is to help students become better writers, active readers and creative thinkers.

Sponsors — often Rotary Clubs and other civic groups — provide the dictionaries to students in their communities. The Dictionary Project supplies 95 cents of every dollar donated toward the purchase of dictionaries, according to its Web site,

Linda Myklebust, Virginia Rotary Club treasurer, brought the idea of participating in the project to the Rotary board, Eberius said. `She got this going,“ he said.

The 55-member club conducts many service projects in the community, but this is the first time it has sponsored the dictionary initiative, he said. `Local teachers are very excited about it. I think it`s a great idea.`

Eberius said he initially was surprised that paperback dictionaries would be so important to students and teachers in today`s world. However, even with so many online resources, a dictionary is mobile; students can carry the books with them anywhere.

A number of area students do not have their own dictionaries, Eberius added.

`Raise your hand if you don`t have a dictionary at home,` Keute said to a group of Parkview third graders Friday morning. Many hands lifted.

The dictionaries bought through The Dictionary Project contain more than just words, Eberius noted.

`A Student`s Dictionary` has pages of other resource information. The books contain chapters on weights and measurements, Roman numerals, multiplication tables, facts about countries and the 50 states, maps of the world, United States history including biographies of presidents and The Declaration of Independence, details about the planets and diagrams of American Sign Language and Braille.

And on the very last page, the dictionary lists `the longest word in the English language.`

The word contains a mere 1,909 letters.

So what is the word? Just ask an area third grader.

For more information, please contact :
Angie Riebe can be reached at To read this story and comment on it online go to