Rotary Club of Quaker Valley donates dictionaries

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The Rotary Club of Quaker Valley is donating one dictionary for every third grade student in the Quaker Valley School District.

“A Student’s Dictionary,” published by the Rotary, contains a dictionary, thesaurus, maps and standard units of measurement, as well as other information.

Rotary clubs across the country have teamed up with The Dictionary Project, a nonprofit charitable organization based in Charleston, S.C., to provide dictionaries for students. Other nonprofit organizations such as Kiwanis clubs, parent groups and Elk lodges also are taking part in the project.

According to their website, The Dictionary Project’s goal is to “assist all students in becoming good writers, active readers, creative thinkers, and resourceful learners by providing them with their own personal dictionary.”

Quaker Valley Rotary Club president Graeme Purcell said that their club heard from other rotaries that the project has been well received by other schools, and especially by students.

However, he said that there was some hesitation over whether the printed dictionaries would still be relevant “in this era of computers and other online references.”

But, Mr. Purcell said that “after making further inquiries, we were assured, surprisingly, that this was not the case. We contacted the primary schools’ principals in our area, they were enthusiastic, and the project developed from there.”

According to The Dictionary Project, educators see third grade as the “dividing line between learning to read and reading to learn.” Therefore, many of the sponsors, such as the Quaker Valley Rotary Club, gift the dictionaries to third grade children.

This was the Quaker Valley Rotary’s first dictionary donation, Mr. Purcell said. “And we are hopeful that it will develop into an annual event.”


Shellie Petri Budzeak, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.

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