The Dictionary Project is the perfect way for your club to have an impact in your community on literacy. Rotary Clubs throughout District 7910 distribute dictionaries to every third grader in their service reach (and beyond where practical) EVERY YEAR. District Governor Suzanne Comer and Rotarians throughout District 7910 know that the dictionary is an important resource for young men and women, and is perhaps the first and most powerful reference tool that a child should own. Through our own experiences we know that a dictionary's usefulness goes beyond the spellings, pronunciations and definitions it lists. It is also a companion for solving problems that arise as a child develops his or her reading, writing, and creative thinking abilities Students throughout District 7910 benefit from an increased self-reliance and resourcefulness inspired by the maxim, "look it up". The importance of using a dictionary to make sure all words are spelled correctly is emphasized. This is an opportunity for children to expand their vocabulary. A strong vocabulary is important for gaining knowledge because this is the only way people have of sharing their ideas and thoughts through communication.


Close to a billion people lack the most basic literacy skills with millions more functionally illiterate, lacking the tools to meet the demands of everyday life.
Every July, Rotary clubs across the world focus on ways to address these problems through literacy initiatives. This year, RI President Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar continues Rotary's emphasis on literacy - and the key role Rotary clubs can play in helping promote literacy throughout the world - with the 2005-06 Presidential Resource Group on Literacy. In addition to President Stenhammar's personal initiatives, Rotary International offers a number of resources to help Rotary clubs plan and implement local and international literacy projects.


Dictionary Project

1.   Contact your local Superintendent of Schools to explain the project and get approval. You will need to explain that the project will include the distribution of dictionaries and will require you obtain the name of every third grader in the district. You will need the assistance of the Superintendent to obtain these names from the School Principals. Get the names, addresses and phone numbers of each of the elementary school principals from the Superintendent.

2.     Contact the School Principal, preferably in person, IN LATE SUMMER OR EARLY IN THE SCHOOL YEAR and explain the program, and ask for their cooperation. You will need the names of the classroom teachers, their aides, and the classroom rosters. Explain the reason you need the names is for the purpose of personalizing the dictionaries for the children and the teachers, and the lists will be returned or destroyed once the dictionaries are distributed, and that you will not retain this information. IF  YOU NEED ASSISTANCE IN THIS AREA, PLEASE CONTACT THE DISTRICT CHAIRMAN. If possible, get your class lists from the school secretary in electronic format so you can merge the data onto the labels for personalization later.

3.    Determine the total number of books needed, and make sure to include in the count a copy for the teacher and teachers aide. Additional copies for the principal and curriculum director is advised, but not necessary. You can chose which dictionary you would prefer to distribute-we do recommend the "A Student's Dictionary" because the material included in the book closely parallels the Massachusetts Frameworks for third grade. The books are delivered in FULL CARTONS, so you may have to over order. Make sure you order the book plates/personalization labels at the same time. They come 6 labels to a sheet.
4.    Arrange to print your labels. It is important that each Dictionary contain the student's name, the school name, and of course, the Club name and address. get your Rotarians together and put the labels in the Dictionaries by classes, box the books by class, and label the boxes by class.

5.     Contact the school for a good time to present the dictionaries. Contact the local media.

6.     Assign member to take the books to the school and make the presentation. make sure everyone is on the same schedule.

7.     Tell the class what Rotary is about and why you are there. Go to Talking Points

8.     When delivering the dictionaries, you should have the teacher remove the books one at a time and call the student's name, then hand it to the Rotarian. The Rotarian should present the book with a smile and a statement of praise. This personal contact is important. A sincere and caring presentation will leave an impression that will last a lifetime.

9.      BE SURE TO TAKE EXTRA BOOKS AND BOOKPLATES/LABELS. Plan on the class roster changing when you present the dictionaries.

10.    Thank the teachers and the principals for cooperating. Make sure you present them with their dictionaries, and don't forget to take the opportunity to explain to the class why their teacher gets one (homework).   Get ready to receive a ton of thank you letters!!!!!This is why you need to put your address on the Bookplates.