American Legion donates dictionaries to students

The American Legion in Glen Rock, PA, recently provided a dictionary for every third-grade student in the Southern York County School District. The Legion, which is comprised of the American Legion, Sons of the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary, purchased the dictionaries from the Dictionary Project, a non-profit organization whose goal is to present a personal dictionary to each third grader in the United States.

This year, the Legion distributed 240 dictionaries to third graders at Southern, Shrewsbury and Friendship Elementary Schools. Sons of the American Legion member Brian Dudley explained to students that the dictionaries were theirs to keep, use at school, and then take home at the end of the school year. These dictionaries will serve the students as they grow and go through school, he said.

The goal of the program is to assist all students in becoming good writers, active readers, creative thinkers, and resourceful learners by providing them with their own personal dictionary. For the last five years, the American Legion has given the dictionaries as a gift for each third-grade student to use at school and at home for years to come, Dudley said.

“A number of you may have a relative who serves in the military,” he told the students. “Besides helping veterans, the American Legion also gives back to the community, state and nation.”

One such method is through the annual dictionary distribution. “Third grade is one of the most important grades with reading,” he said. “These dictionaries are yours to keep now and in the future.”

Third grade was selected because students are taught formal dictionary skills and how to use various resource books at this time, Assistant Superintendent Sandra Lemmon said. The dictionaries, Webster’s Dictionary for Students, were chosen by the District and will also serve as a general resource for students. They provide students with rules of grammar, maps of the United States and other countries as well as U.S. history events, the Declaration of Independence, and branches of government. In addition, the dictionaries also provide information on weights and measures.

“We greatly appreciate the support and partnership the American Legion has demonstrated over the years in providing our students with this valuable resource,” Lemmon said. “The gift is a book of knowledge the students will be able to keep with them throughout their school career.”

In addition, students received a book about the story of Old Glory, the American Flag, which explains the proper care, respect and disposal of the flag.

“The flag symbolizes our country and how our people fought hard for our freedoms,” Dudley said.