One of the club’s long-standing community service efforts is our annual Dictionary Project. With this project, Rotarians from our club, as well as a few other clubs in Columbus, hand deliver a dictionary to every third grader in the Columbus City Schools. Volunteers contact the school, pick a delivery date, pick up their dictionaries and spend 5 to 10 minutes handing out the dictionaries to students while sharing the “Service Above Self” mantra.
The Dictionary Project began as an idea when former Columbus Rotarian Bill Kocher was visiting South Carolina. He read a news article about every third grader in the state receiving a dictionary. Upon his return he decided to provide dictionaries for our Adopt-A-School third graders at Kent Elementary School. Past President Bill Matthews was his willing assistant.
At the 2005 Service Above Self awards for non-Rotarians Don Kelley heard about the program and was intrigued. In honor of friend and business partner Bob Weiler, Don endowed what is known as the Dictionary Fund. Its purpose is to provide a dictionary to every third-grade student in the Columbus City School system.
This year we will be passing out roughly 4,500 dictionaries, and we need your help. Club Second Vice President Steve Heiser is heading up the effort to identify volunteers and assign schools. Please contact Steve if you want to get involved at firstname.lastname@example.org or 545-3998.