Always A Good Spell Rotary Provides Third-Grade Students Citywide With Dictionaries

ROCHESTER — Thankful is defined by Merriam-Webster as “glad that something has happened,” which is exactly how third-graders across the city felt recently when they received dictionaries from the Rotary Club of Rochester. Roughly 340 dictionaries were delivered citywide, courtesy of the Rotary Club. Dictionaries have been handed out to third-graders for 10 years now, with recent years being funded through donations to the Rotary from Eastern Propane. President of the club, Daniel Hussey, said the dictionary project was started by Fred Hall, a former and now honorary member of the club. Hussey explained that the elder Hall initially funded the project. Each third-grader at each of the city’s eight public elementary schools as well as St. Elizabeth Seton School received his or her own Webster’s Dictionary for Students. “I’m going to read mine when I go to bed,” said…[one student from]…the Nancy Loud School. “I’m a good speller. I can use it to find out meanings of words.” He said this dictionary is his very first personal dictionary. “It’s pretty cool,” said the third grader. “It’s very exciting for the children. Some of them don’t have that opportunity otherwise,” said Nancy Loud Principal Dr. Maureen Oakman. Rotary Club member and chair of the dictionary project John Hall, Fred Hall’s son, presented the students of Nancy Loud with their dictionaries on Monday morning. “I hope everyone enjoys them and learns a lot,” he told the children of Gwen Morrison’s third-grade classroom. “We hope the dictionaries help them learn to read and figure out what words mean,” said Hall. “I’m really excited about it,” said [one] third-grader…who said he’s thankful to the Rotary for his new dictionary. “If I don’t know a meaning, I can just look in here,” he said. “The Rotary has done a nice job supporting the schools,” said Oakman. She explained the Rotary not only provides third-graders with dictionaries each year, but also provides first-graders with reading books as well. Hussey said the club began handing out reading books to first-graders just a few years ago. “When we reach the summer time, we donate the books so they can continue to read over the summer,” said Hussey. “It’s really great that all our third-graders get dictionaries from the Rotary. We know it’s something that our kids don’t get all the time,” said Superintendent Mike Hopkins, pointing out that the reading books are a great asset for the first-graders as well. “It’s really great,” he added of the continued support from the Rotary Club.