Last week, members of the Rotary Club of North Delta distributed more than 800 dictionaries to every Grade 3 students in North Delta.
Rotarian Lornell Ridley organized this project, personally visiting many of the elementary schools in the community.
According to Ridley, “it is an amazing experience to stand at the front of the classroom and hand out a Rotary dictionary to every child. The children’s smiles tell it all. This is our club’s commitment to the children of North Delta. Without exception, the principals, teachers and students are delighted to receive their gift of a dictionary – it is theirs to keep. For some students, it is their first personal book”.
The Rotarians encourage the students to take good care of their Rotary Canadian Dictionary and Thesaurus so they can use them all the way through school. Each Grade 3 teacher is given a copy of the same book so they can create word games from the same book the students receive.
John Shepherd, president of the North Delta Rotary Club, admires the dedication of its members.
“They take time out of their busy work days to visit local classrooms and meet with students. Several of our Rotarians deliver dictionaries to several schools. They show children how to use their new dictionaries and describe how reading can enrich their lives.Children can read about African elephants, devour a Harry Potter book or learn about the Apollo 11 moon landing in the comfort of their own homes.
“We explain that Rotarians try to live up to Rotary International’s motto, Service above Self. Any success we have in life is due to the friends, family and educators who helped and inspired us, and people who provided us opportunities along the way. Rotarians believe in paying forward, helping future generations succeed.”
The dictionary project is part of the commitment of the Rotary Club to the children and youth of North Delta. The club provides scholarships to North Delta Grade 12 graduates, sponsors local young people for Rotary leadership training programs, funds local youth groups such as Scouting and helped build the North Delta Rotary Skateboard Park.
The three Delta clubs, North Delta, Ladner and Tsawwassen, jointly sponsor annual Delta Youth Leadership Awards. Two Interact clubs are active in Delta Secondary Schools with a third club in the process of starting up. The Rotary Club of North Delta is only one of more than 33,000 clubs around the world.
The Dictionary Project was founded in 1995 as a non-profit society with the mission of providing dictionaries to people in their communities. As youth, education and literacy are three cornerstones of Rotary International, the two organizations were natural partners in promoting literacy among children. Rotary Clubs have delivered more than 6 million dictionaries to children around the world.