Dictionary program hits seventh year

Excitement over a book is every parent’s wish to have their child as enthusiastic over a book as they are over a video game or other new electronic distraction. Would they also be pleased to know that this book is non-fiction and packed with meaningful facts the children can use for years?

The Canton Kiwanis Club thought so.

This year the Canton Kiwanis completed its seventh year of distributing student dictionaries to Canton and Plymouth area third-grade students. Elementary school students were presented the books personally by the Kiwanians as they blanketed the local communities going from school to school like Santa’s elves delivering holiday cheer.

“If you could see the excitement on the children’s faces as they received the book, you would appreciate the joy the Kiwanis Club experiences when they visit and interact with the students,” said club president Mark Ott. “From looking up the word ‘service,’ and explaining it is ‘a job that one performs for others,’ to helping them discover the longest word in the English language (1,909 letters), it just makes you smile.”

The dictionary is a treasure trove of information. It includes definitions of words geared for the age level, but it also includes biographies of the presidents, statistics on the states of the union, foreign country information, and even a section on sign language. More than a dictionary, it is a source of information that they can use for years.

“The children are very excited by the gift,” said Erikkson teacher Bonnie Quillen.

The distribution is done with books purchased through The Dictionary Project, a national organization supporting literacy by providing access to affordable books for students. The Kiwanis Club of Canton (formerly Plymouth Canton Breakfast) has supplied books to students for the last seven years and during that time they have provided approximately 12,000 books to the children, and “it has been one of our favorite projects,” Ott said.

For information on The Dictionary Project or some of the many other Kiwanis service projects in the Canton community, contact Ott at (734) 981-0460.