Rotary Club of Sandy Springs extends footprint in children’s world

March 16 through 30 will be red-letter days at five Sandy Springs elementary schools through the philanthropy of the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs.

Speaking at the Hammond Glen senior living community, where the club holds its weekly luncheon meetings, member Cory D. Jackson said the club’s reference book giveaway is entering a new phase.

“We’re going to start our second phase of the dictionary project,” Jackson, the club’s community service director, said about gifts of Webster’s student editions to third graders March 20 at Heards Ferry Elementary.

The school dictionary project began in 2006, according to the club’s website, and has picked up momentum along with the Books and Breakfast reading program, in which Jackson also participates.

“We did an awesome job in the fall. We distributed 728 dictionaries,” he said.

The club added a thesaurus giveaway last year and will continue it March 16 at Lake Forest Elementary and March 27 at Spalding Drive Charter Elementary, while breaking new ground March 22 and March 30.

“This is our very first time distributing atlases to fourth graders at Ison Springs and Dunwoody Springs, so everyone is really excited about that,” Jackson said.

Although most of the 50 attendees raised their hands when asked if they are among the volunteers, club president Sally Wyeth urged greater participation.

“All you have to do is sign up and show up. An hour later, you’re done. You’ve helped give these books to the kids,” she said. “It’s very gratifying and a lot of fun.”

Wyeth said the giveaway is one of the club’s signature projects.

“This is a big deal. This is one of the things we do in the community. We give books to hundreds of kids who do not own their own book,” she said. “You don’t need to know how to do anything except give a book and help them read or put a name tag in it.”

A name plate in each book bears a junior version of the Rotary International 4-Way Test.

“In work and play, tell the truth, be fair, be helpful [and] think of others,” it reads.

Alfred Adjokatcher, a member of the club’s young professionals auxiliary Rotaract, said the test has special significance to him.

“The first thing that comes to mind is integrity and honor,” said the Ghana native. “It’s not what I say with my mouth but what I actually do.”

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