Rotary club gives dictionaries to third graders
Jonathan Lopez had to learn English when he enrolled in school. He knows what it takes to learn a new word.
“I say them 25 times,” the 7-year-old said. “Then I can know them, and when I need them I can write them.”
And now he has unlimited access to new words.
Carson City’s Sunset Rotary Club is giving dictionaries to every third-grader in the city. They spent Friday giving them to the students at Seeliger Elementary School.
“You could definitely see delight in their eyes,” said Donna Schultz, Rotary club member. “It was so cute. They were looking through them already.”
Rotarian Hans Struffert, who moved to the United States from Germany when he was 25, understands Jonathan’s eagerness to learn new words.
“Unless you really understand the language, you cannot understand the culture and you can’t understand the environment you live in,” he said.
Native English speakers were anxious to expand their vocabulary as well.
“I’m excited to look up more words,” said Olivia Temple, 8. “If I look up new words, I’ll get smarter.”
Kellie Leal, 8, is no stranger to the dictionary, but was happy to receive one of her own.
“When I play Scrabble with my mom, we look up new words and see what they mean,” she said. “Like last time, we found ‘vox.’ That means ‘voices.'”
Once the dictionaries were delivered to her classroom, teacher Geri Moore required all of her students to use a new word in the stories they were writing about Thanksgiving.
Julianna Powell, 8, thumbed through her dictionary in search of a word to include in her story about “A little girl Indian who wants to go see other people besides Indians.”
“A new word would make it so it was more interesting and it would make more sense to people,” she said.
And there could be a ripple effect.
“I can use new words many times when I’m talking to people,” said Jared Lindberg, 8. “Most people don’t know words and it would be cool for them to learn the word, too.”
The Rotary Club will continue to distribute dictionaries next week to all third-graders, including the private schools. Rotarians said they hope to make it an annual tradition.