News Briefs

Project Dictionary: a Rotary lesson in literacy


Mrs. Mee’s third grade class at Rutland Intermediate School with their dictionaries

RUTLAND—Call it a Rotary lesson in literacy. For the past 14 years, Rutland South Rotary Club has donated brand new dictionaries to all third-graders in eight schools within the Rutland region. These are personal dictionaries they can use in school or at home.

Third grade is an important time for young readers. At this juncture, they will spend less time learning to how to read and more time reading to learn. The reading strategies they are taught at this level–making connections, visualizing, determining importance–will give them the reading skills that can last throughout their lives.

Rutland South Rotarians visit the classrooms and present the dictionaries to the students. During class time the Rotarians ask the children to look up words, recite the definitions, and use them in a sentence.

Historically, Project Dictionary began as a non-profit charitable organization founded in 1995

by Mary French, in Charleston, S.C. Its goal was to provide personal copies of dictionaries to

third grade students in the South Carolina Public School System.

The eight Rutland County Schools participating in the program are Barstow Memorial (Chittenden), Christ the King (Rutland), Clarendon Elementary, Proctor Elementary, Rutland Area Christian School, Rutland Intermediate School, Rutland Town School, and West Rutland School.

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