Madison Rotary Promotes Literacy With Gifts Of Books To Third Graders

As part of the Rotary Club of Madison’s Literacy Program, the annual Rotary Dictionary Project delivered free dictionary/gazetteers on Oct. 23 to all third graders in the Madison public school as well as St. Vincent Martyr School in the borough. More than a dictionary, each modern 524-page dictionary/gazetteer contains maps, facts and resource material traditionally associated with almanacs, such as the longest word in the English language, Braille, sign language, the planets, the U.S. Constitution, maps of the seven continents, information about the 50 states, weights and measures, biographies of the U.S. presidents, and the Declaration of Independence. Personalized By Name Each book was personalized with the student’s name on a Rotary bookplate on the inside front cover. The goal of the project is to assist the students in completing their school year as good writers and creative thinkers by expanding their vocabulary and reading skills. The Rotary project was chaired by Mary Beth Cooney, who has taken over the program in place of the late Rosemarie McCauley. The Rotary volunteers who participated in the program included Mayor Robert Conley, Madison Public Library Director Nancy Adamczyk, Madison Arts and Culture Alliance (MACA) President Deborah Starker, Lois Bhatt, Thomas Bintinger, Cathie Coultas, George Hayman, the Rev. Clarissa South Holland, Radika Lutchman, Carmela Moeller, Robert Rocco, Brigitte Richter-Hajduk, Fran Ryan, Joseph Smith, and Marsha Ann Zimmerman. In addition to the Madison distribution, the Madison Rotary participates in a Rotary International project called “Children of the World Dictionary,” which donates dictionaries overseas to such countries as Kenya, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Sierra Leone. For many of the children overseas, it is their only personal book, and becomes a treasured possession.