Rotary Club Presents Dictionaries to 3rd-Graders

Members of the Warrenton Rotary Club spent much of last week distributing dictionaries to third-graders at all schools in Warren County, including the traditional public schools, Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School in Hollister and Norlina Christian School.

The local Rotary Club’s work to provide dictionaries to students is an offshoot of The Dictionary Project, a nonprofit literacy effort. According to the nonprofit’s website, Savannah, Ga., resident Annie Plummer’s efforts in 1992 to give 50 dictionaries to students near her home provided the inspiration for what grew into The Dictionary Project in 1995.

Today, individuals, businesses and civic organizations around the world, including Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs and parent organizations, have adopted the project by sponsoring programs to distribute dictionaries to children in their communities.

The Warrenton Rotary Club’s work with The Dictionary Project began 11 years ago through the efforts of the late Harry Weingarten, a former Warrenton Rotarian. Since that time, the project has continued every year in his memory.

During last week’s dictionary distribution, Mariam Boyd Elementary School in Warrenton held a presentation ceremony for all of its third-grade students.

In introducing members of the Warrenton Rotary Club, county schools Superintendent Dr. Ray Spain told students that the dictionaries they would receive would be useful all year, including the summer, when they would be out of school.

“You can get smart by looking things up in the dictionary,” he said.

Bill King, Rotary Club president-elect, said that the dictionaries included places where the students could write their names, showing that the books belonged to them. He added that because the dictionaries do not require batteries, they are always ready to use.

Rotary Club President Roger Griesinger said that the third-graders would always be able to rely on their new dictionaries.

“Until we do away with the English language, these are good forever,” he said.

After Griesinger, King and Pat Raiford, a Rotary past president, distributed dictionaries to the third-graders, King led the students in an exercise to help them practice looking up definitions in their new books.

King asked the students to look up the words, “truth” and “fair,” so that they could learn that the two words have several meanings, among them, values to consider each day.

He told the students that the Rotary Club wanted to distribute the dictionaries to provide a tool that they needed to be their best in school and in life.

Griesinger reminded the students that they will have an important place in the future of the county, state, nation and beyond.

“You are our future leaders,” he said.

In expressing appreciation for the dictionaries, Mariam Boyd Principal Jacqueline Hargrove told the students that the books could help them whenever they want to look up a word.

“They are a great tool,” she said. “You may not always have (access to) technology.”

______________________________________

News Article Originally Posted: December 19th, 2013