Dictionary Project update

Retired Board of Trustee member Theresa Kosmoski made sure that The Ormonde & Margaret Smith Dictionary Project was the reason for one of her final stops at an elementary school.

Due to her personal generosity and commitment to the Dictionary Project, all third graders at Treasure Forest Elementary received a dictionary during her recent visit. The recently retired Trustee is one of the biggest supporters of the ongoing project.

In 2004, district volunteer and Dictionary Project founder Ormonde Smith began giving out a dictionary to every third grader in SBISD, part of his mission to give a long living tool for the future to every young reader. He died on Feb. 27 earlier this year, only a day shy of his 97th birthday.

Ormonde solicited donations for dictionaries through friends, area religious groups and businesses.

Former Trustee Kosmoski and other volunteers throughout the district have picked up and carried the Dictionary Project forward in the months since. The project was named in honor of Ormonde and his wife, Margaret.

“A dictionary is the first reference tool a young child should have. Reading is the basis of all education, and third grade is an optimum time to have children use dictionaries,” Ormonde often told Dictionary Project supporters.

Since 2004, the Dictionary Project has distributed dictionaries to more than 20,000 students.

Donors like former Trustee Kosmoski present the books in campus-based meetings where students learn how to use the reference works for research and discovery through a series of group games and activities.

She presented the dictionaries recently to a big student group at Treasure Forest Elementary, 7635 Amelia Road.

“All anyone has to do is see the presentation one time and they are then convinced about the value of the program. For many students this may be the only book they own,” she said. Theresa Kosmoski served for nine years as a Board member before electing to retire at the end of her term.

The following individuals and sponsors have helped provide dictionaries for third graders this year:

Theresa Kosmoski

Pam and Doug Goodson

Larry and Patricia McDowell

Joni Baird

Mary Sherwood

Tom and Barbara Potts

Robert Sanders

Jennifer and Chris Hefner

Sina Alvarado

(State Farm Insurance) Germaine Champion, Chris Badger, Brooke Cluse and Leslie Bourgeois

Daniel Measurement and Control

SBISD Community Relations’ Sue Loudis reports that Ormonde Smith has a living legacy that is still being written in all of the young lives that he touched.

“He had an amazing impact on many young lives, many of whom he handed a dictionary to personally and many thousands more that never met him but are blessed as a result of his passion for learning and making sure our future generations are educated,” she said.

To view a video of Ormonde Smith talking about the Dictionary Project, please go to this site: http://www.springbranchisd.com/partners/part_dev/volunteers/dictionaryProject.wmv