Third graders at Laguna Niguel schools will receive new dictionaries

The Laguna Niguel Rotary Club will hand out more than 700 dictionaries to students at seven area schools through Nov. 9.
Lucky third graders from Laguna Niguel’s seven elementary schools will receive dictionaries gifted by the Laguna Niguel Rotary Club’s annual Dictionary Project.

Since Oct. 25, members of the club have been distributing dictionaries to the local schools, such as Moulton Elementary and Bergeson Elementary.

As the club’s president-elect Dr. William Nguyen described it, the program is aimed to “increase literacy among the children.” The club members stress the importance of having an extended vocabulary and a ‘be the best they can be’ attitude when it comes to the children.

But why third graders and not seventh graders or even high school students? “This is when children read to learn,” Dr. Nguyen explained. "It is at this age that children switch from learning to read and are ready to take the next steps. Dictionaries are the perfect company when children start learning about things such as synonyms and astronomy."

Last week Dr. Nguyen and other members delivered 122 dictionaries to George White Elementary. He recalled talking to fourth and fifth graders who are still using the dictionaries given to them by the club in previous years.

“If you don’t have educated children, who is going to go to college? Who is going to go to work? Who is going to be the future tax payers?” Dr. Nguyen said.

“[The club’s purpose is] to improve the lives of the people in our community,” he said.

The Dictionary Project isn’t the only program the Rotary Club sponsors. It also awards scholarships to high school students in need and supports local charities regularly.

More than 700 dictionaries will be handed out this year once the Dictionary Project ends on Nov. 9.