Dictionary project kicks off at Lashmeet/Matoaka School

During a 1:00 PM ceremony Wednesday, Lashmeet/Matoaka third-grade students received personal copies of Webster’s Dictionary, Student Edition. Although only one school gets to host a “roll-out” of the Dictionary Project each year, every third-grade student in Mercer County receives a dictionary, compliments of a unique collaboration between Bluefield State College, Concord University, and the Princeton and Bluefield Rotary Clubs.

Now in its seventh year, the project has awarded over 4,200 books to Mercer County students for their personal use at home. The project’s partners believe it is a worthwhile investment.

Following words of welcome and introduction from Superintendent Deborah Akers, Tracy Samosky’s first-grade students performed an original song about the dictionary.

Representatives of each of the four organizations addressed the children. Bluefield State President Marsha Krotseng encouraged the students to use their dictionaries, and she said she looked forward to seeing them as college students in 9 or 10 years.

Mrs. Connie Shumate told the story of a familiar children’s author whose career really began, at age 8, with his interest in a dictionary. “This person penned the words, ‘the more you know, the farther you’ll go,’” she said, asking if anyone recognized the person. Many hands shot up. “Dr. Seuss!” they responded.

Rotarians Kevin Cole and Claude Morgan joined Krotseng and Shumate in awarding dictionaries as the children came forward.

To express their appreciation, the third graders sang two songs for parents and guests.

Afterwards, students and guests enjoyed snacks of crackers, cheese, fresh fruit, and cookies supplied by Lashmeet/Matoaka cooks, Concord University, and Crook Brothers’ Produce.