Scottdale Rotary Makes Annual Dictionary Donation

Third-graders at three local schools received some gifts a few days before Christmas.

Members of the Scottdale Rotary Club delivered 159 dictionaries to third-grade students at Southmoreland Elementary School and six each to students at St. John the Baptist Catholic School and Mt. Carmel Christian School.

“We do this every year,” said Ed McNally, Scottdale Rotary president. “We’ve been doing it for 11 years.”

Rotary members Dr. Ralph Geary and Liz Wable delivered the dictionaries.

“Before they give them the dictionaries, they talk about what the Rotary is all about,” explained John Lee, Southmoreland Elementary School principal. “It gives the kids an understanding what the organization is that’s giving them the dictionaries. They hand each kid a dictionary and tell them to put their name inside and try to tell a little bit about it, such as what can you find in a dictionary. It’s kind of a neat thing and the kids seem to enjoy it.”

The annual donation is through a program called The Dictionary Project. Many rotary clubs use these books to promote literacy in the United States.

The goal of The Dictionary Project is to assist all students in becoming good writers, active readers, creative thinkers, and resourceful learners by providing them with their own personal dictionary. The dictionaries are a gift to each student to use at school and at home for years to come.

Educators see third grade as the dividing line between learning to read and reading to learn, so that is the grade to which the dictionaries are donated.

In October, members of the Rotary Club of Mt. Pleasant donated about 150 dictionaries to Norvelt Elementary School, Donegal Elementary School, Ramsey Elementary School and Armbrust Christian School.