Dictionary Project benefits local students

Panther Valley Elementary School and Our Lady of The Angels third graders recently received dictionaries, thanks to local donors.

William P. Gardiner and Francis X. Koomar purchased and delivered the books to the schools earlier this week.

The pair has been donating the dictionaries for the last 10 years because "a dictionary is the key to communication, education, career and personal growth and self-confidence."

Gardiner explained that dictionaries are useful to the third-grade students because they can take and use them in their future grades.

"Dictionaries are useful in many ways," he said. "They are an aid to learning definitions of words, spelling, pronunciation, grammar and the use of words in a written and spoken language."

The students were thrilled by the present and thanked Gardiner, who was present at each school for the delivery.

Panther Valley Elementary School Principal Bill Lombardo also said he was thrilled to have such community support for the students and their education.

Nicky Polakovich, third-grade teacher at Our Lady of The Angels Academy, echoed Lombardo’s thoughts.

"We’re so grateful for Mr. Gardiner and Mr. Koomar," she said. "The children really enjoy and need the dictionaries, and they really add to the third-grade curriculum."

Gardiner and Koomar have been delivering dictionaries to the schools as part of The Dictionary Project, an organization whose goal is to "assist all students in becoming good writers, active readers, creative thinkers and resourceful learners by providing them with their own personal dictionary."

Over 16,024,752 dictionaries have been given through the program worldwide.