Ferry County Granges: A Dictionary in Every Book Bag

Malo and Eagle Cliff Grange members combined their efforts and money this year in providing a paperback dictionary to each of the third graders in Ferry County. The program is part of the National Grange’s Words for Thirds effort. This year over 9,500 organizations nationwide have distributed nearly 1.5 million dictionaries to local third graders. When Mary French, director of The Dictionary Project, was asked, “in this computer age, why bother with paper dictionaries,” she replied:
The Internet and iPads are not the solution to educating our youth. It is imperative that children learn to read and write before the age of eight in order to absorb information and communicate with others. An iPad is an advertising medium. It was made for that purpose. It is not a book, but it is a movie and a camera and a radio and a calculator. It has nothing to offer if the user does not understand what is being conveyed or how to share what is on the iPad off the iPad. Writing is an important part of literacy. If a child is not able to write and share his or her thoughts then they are mute and suppressed. We are all born with innate gifts and they are what make us unique. I am writing to you on my iPhone and I could write you a letter or call you on the phone because I know how to communicate on different mediums. All of this is learned. iPads limit what people learn because they do not teach people how to make the best possible use of their resources by learning to read books. Husbandry teaches us that one thing affects another and there is a chain of events created through action; the impetus is our imagination. And that is sparked by reading books written by people who want to share their thoughts.
Grange members visit the third grade classrooms to distribute the dictionaries and spend a few minutes helping the students find some of the extra features in them like an article on each president, a listing on each state and also information on the countries. Malo volunteer Chery Kennedy enjoys the energy and excitement of the third graders during her visits. This year she helped at four of five of the school districts and found that the excitement was the same for both large and small classrooms. For some of the students the dictionary is their first personal book. Article from The Ferry County View, November 2015