Dictionary donations acknowledge need for 3rd-grade literacy

There is, according to researchers, no greater indicator of a child’s future success as a citizen than third-grade literacy, says Iowa Kiwanis Lt. Gov. Byron Tabor.

Tabor, a member of the Marion Kiwanis Club, joined Vinton Kiwanis members Lexa Speidel and Tom Lindauer at Tilford Elementary, where they presented dictionaries to all of the third-grade students. Tabor had earlier visited Shellsburg Elementary, where he presented dictionaries to third-grade students there.

"Statistics show that there is no greater factor affecting incarceration rates than third-grade literacy," said Tabor, explaining that the donation of dictionaries is designed to give children a tool to help them understand language at the age when literacy is most important to their future.

Tabor told the students about the other features of the dictionaries, and pointed out the largest word in the English language, which was printed on the back page of their paperbacks. The students enjoyed the challenge of trying to pronounce that word, which has more than 1,900 letters (it is a scientific compound).

The Kiwanis Clubs are among many participants in The Dictionary Project, a world-wide effort to put dictionaries in the hands of third-grade students.

For more information, visit http://www.dictionaryproject.org/