Helping kids read

This year during February and March the Rotary Club of Westminster 7:10, generously supported by the Legacy Foundation, is, for the fifth year, giving all third graders in Westminster their own personal dictionaries. The club strongly believes that the ability to read is essential in a person’s tools for living and that having one’s own personal dictionary can significantly improve one’s reading skills. This year the program is providing some 1,600 third graders in 22 schools in Districts R-1, 12 and 50 with dictionaries.

The dictionaries are produced by The Dictionary Project, Inc. in South Carolina, an organization created to provide a dictionary to students to help with their homework and their schoolwork. Throughout the United States and since 1995 over 11 million dictionaries have been provided by the Dictionary Project at a nominal cost and have been distributed by Rotary Clubs and other organizations. This year in Colorado some 35,000 dictionaries are being given to third graders and 13 Rotary Clubs are partipating in the program.

The dictionaries contain resource materials above and beyond just words. Included are weights and measures, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, maps of the world, facts about countries, information about the 50 U.S. states, biographies of the 43 U.S. presidents and facts about the eight planets in the solar system. The kids love to see the longest word in the English language, 1,909 letters, which begins with methionylglutaminy-, a term for the formula C1289H2051N343O375S8, an enzyme that contains 267 Amino acids.