Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

March 31, 2014

Word help not kid stuff

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — Knowing the right way to spell words or even what those words actually mean — not a bad gift for a whole bunch of elementary school kids all over Garvin County.

It comes in the form of dozens of dictionaries handed out each year by members of the Pauls Valley Rotary Club.

This 12th year for the club’s project has been a special one since it expanded to make dictionaries available for all third grade students in the county.

On dictionary duty this week were Rotary members Les Nunn and Michael Dobbins, who were handing out the books at the grade school in Wynnewood.

“Prior to this year we only gave out the dictionaries to third-graders at Paoli, Whitebead and Pauls Valley,” Dobbins said.

“With a district Rotary grant we were able to give them to all the third-graders in the county this year,” he said.

“The neat thing is these kids get to keep these dictionaries. It belongs to them. They can take it home and use anytime.”

Both Dobbins and Nunn were quick to add the dictionaries are personalized with the name of the child receiving the book.

“We’re in Pauls Valley, but we have members from all over,” Nunn said about the PV Rotary Club. “This year we were able to give dictionaries to third-graders in all schools in Garvin County.

“We had some extras so we decided to give them to fourth grade students in Wynnewood after the teachers let us know they were interested.

“We’re happy to do that, and if any other schools are interested we would be happy to do it for them as well.”

In 2014 it marks the 12th year the local Rotary Club has participated in the Dictionary Project.

Since 2003, the club has distributed over 2,400 dictionaries to third grade students across Garvin County as part of its commitment to improve literacy.

Each spring, members visit area classrooms to hand out the dictionaries and talk to the children about using their new dictionary.

Right in the middle of the project is club member John Pratt.

“I look forward each year to the Dictionary Project,” Pratt said.

“The children are so excited to receive their new dictionary and immediately begin looking up words.”

The goal of the Dictionary Project is to assist all students in becoming good writers, active readers, creative thinkers and resourceful learners by providing them with their own personal dictionary.

The project was founded in 1995 in South Carolina by Mary French, and since that time over 18 million children have received dictionaries in the United States.