The Virginia Rotary Club has partnered for the last five years with The Dictionary Project, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide dictionaries for every third grader in the United States.
Rotary is an international organization with a passion for addressing social challenges like literacy.
The Virginia Rotary Club purchases A Student’s Dictionary for each third grader in the Parkview Learning Center in Virginia, Merritt Elementary in Mt. Iron, Franklin Elementary in Eveleth, and Marquette Elementary School. This is nearly 300 dictionaries.
Dedicated third grade teachers in each of these schools teach their students how to use the dictionaries for alphabetizing, spelling, and learning the meaning of words. This empowers children to become good writers, active readers, creative thinkers and resourceful learners. These dictionaries are the personal property of each student to take home and use year after year.
In this day of computers with spell check , do children still need a paperback dictionary?
This is the question The Virginia Rotary Club asked prior to partnering with The Dictionary Project. Some are fortunate to have electronic devices that give access to the internet.
For 8 and 9 year old children who are still learning to read, the Internet is not a consistent reality. Most schools have computers in the classrooms or computer labs, but they do not have one on every student’s desk.
One child said, “It doesn’t slow me down like a computer. Now, I can use it for homework. I can use it at school and not disrupt the class. I can use it for writing and spelling.”
The Virginia Rotary Club wants to ensure that local youngsters have all the educational tools they need.
Rotary is a volunteer organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide to provide humanitarian service and help build goodwill and peace. There are 32,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries who conduct projects to address the challenges of today like illiteracy, disease, hunger, poverty, lack of clean water and environmental concerns, while encouraging high ethical standards. The Virginia Rotary Club has over 50 members who perform many service projects like Dictionaries for Third Graders, the Kids’ Fishing Contest each June on Silver Lake, the ODC Bowling event for disabled adults at the Bowling Gardens each fall, and a Salvation Army Supper Club meal each month. The Virginia Rotary Club meets at the Coates Plaza Hotel every Wednesday at noon. New members are welcome. For more information about The Virginia Rotary Club call Linda Myklebust at 753-4090.
Click here to see local TV news coverage of the project.