The Clintonville Rotary Club recently delivered over 130 dictionaries to third grade students in the Clintonville Public School District, Marion School District, St. Martin Lutheran School, and St. Rose/St. Mary Catholic School.
The annual effort was organized by Rotarian Ann Fuge, who learned about the dictionary project while attending the Rotary International Convention in New Orleans a few years ago.
“There was a ‘House of Friendship’ venue at the convention that gave other clubs a chance to present themselves,” explained Fuge. “I discovered the dictionary project at that venue, and I said, ‘This is so simple. We need to do this in Clintonville.'”
After successfully promoting the program in Clintonville the past few years, Rotarians reached out to include students in Marion last year after the Marion Rotary Club was absorbed by the Clintonville Rotary Club.
“It’s only natural that we should do what we can for the students in the Marion School District as well as the Clintonville students,” said Fuge. “This year, we distributed over 130 dictionaries to third grade students in Clintonville and Marion.
“Each student received their own dictionary, and one dictionary was designated for each classroom,” continued Fuge. “All of these books were donated by the Clintonville Rotary Club.”
Rotarian Toni Wernberg helped distribute the books and said that the reaction from students is priceless.
“The kids are just filled with excitement and wonderment,” said Wernberg. “They have a sense of ownership in the book. For some of them, it’s the first time they’ve ever had a book given just to them. We always tell them to use the dictionaries and wear them out!”
Fuge said teachers are very enthusiastic about the project as well.
“One of the teachers in Marion said last year that she wished her kids had been given a dictionary at that age,” said Fuge. “The teachers we encounter believe in this program. They believe in anything that will inspire students to learn.”
Rotarians who assist with the project also recognize its benefits.
“Once an adult has been part of this project, they want to do it again,” noted Fuge. “It’s an exciting thing.”
To learn more about this project, visit www.thedictionaryproject.org. To learn more about Rotary International, talk to any Rotary member or visit Fuge at Honey Creek, 102 S. Main St., Clintonville. The Clintonville Rotary Club meets at noon every Monday at Mathew’s Supper Club.