Laurel club purchased 552 dictionaries for area schools

For seven years, the Rotary Club of Laurel has been collecting funds to participate in The Dictionary Project, donating 2,856 dictionaries to area students.

This year, the club raised more than $950 to purchase 552 dictionaries. The books will go to third-grade students at Bond Mill, Laurel, Montpelier, Oaklands, Scotch Town Hills, James H. Harrison and Deerfield Run elementary schools and St. Mary of the Mills School, all of Laurel.

The Dictionary Project, a nonprofit organization based in Charleston, S.C., has given dictionaries to more than 16 million children nationwide since 1995, with the hope that students will use the books to become better readers and writers.

Laurel Elementary School Principal Melinda Lee said that about half of her third-grade students say they don’t have a dictionary at home, and are excited to receive the books from the Rotary Club.

“The kids get so excited,” Lee said of the donations. “To get something that’s their very own, they really appreciate that.”