The Rotary Club of Pearl River began a new project this year, providing free dictionaries for every third grade student in the Pearl River School District and the St. Margaret School.
Representatives of the Rotary Club brought the dictionaries to Evans Park, Franklin Avenue and Lincoln Avenue Elementary Schools last week. They will bring them to the St. Margaret School today.
Rotary Club President John Buonadonna, Doreen Buonadonna, Ben Shiftah, Bob Zuppe, Bob Craig and Lauri Craig made their visit to Lincoln Ave. Friday, explaining to the gathered what the club does and watching as the children dug into their new possessions to look up words from the presentation. Many of the students did not know about the international service organization, but they recognized activities it organizes such as Share Christmas and the Holidays, the Soap Box Race down Central Ave. and the fishing contest.
With the dictionaries, letters went home to parents with information about the Rotary Club and the following explanation of the dictionary distribution project.
"Our goal for this Dictionary Distribution Project is to assist students in the overall use of a dictionary and all aspects of the language arts. We hope students will learn that their dictionary helps them solve problems as they develop skills in reading, writing, spelling and creative thinking. We believe students will benefit from an increased self-reliance and resourcefulness inspired by the term, 'look it up.'
"Teachers benefit by knowing their students have reliable access to a tool for both in-school study and homework assignments as well as the opportunity to expand their vocabularies. Each dictionary is a gift from our rotary Club to your student. It is our hope that by owning this dictionary, each third grader will move into fourth and successive grades with more ease and confidence. We hope that you, as parents and guardians, will share the learning experiences this book offers your child."
Many Rotary Clubs run similar programs, including South Orangetown's. Lauri Craig said this will be an annual project, not a one-time gift. In all, 245 Pearl River third graders are receiving the dictionaries this year, as are their teachers. Craig said they will also be sending 40 more to a group of children in Haiti.