Club members gave a new dictionary to each third grader.
Members of the MOT Rotary Club delivered a lot of knowledge in a small package for students in the Appoquinimink School District last week.
Club members gave a new dictionary to each third grader, almost 900 this year.
At Silver Lake Elementary in Middletown, the dictionaries were distributed Oct. 18 by MOT Rotary Club President Tomi Diver and club member Helen Weinheimer, a former teacher.
“The most important thing is each child uses the dictionary in their work throughout the school year and then they get to keep them,” said Weinheimer.
Diver said the project has been going on at least 25 years.
“Ever since I’ve been in the club, we’ve been doing this,” Diver said. “We want to make sure every child has the opportunity to learn and explore. There’s so much more than just words and definitions in these dictionaries. The students send letters of thanks and some of the letters are just unbelievable. It really is rewarding.”
Weinheimer said dictionaries include information on the solar system, biographies of presidents, information on states, countries and continents, and even a sign language chart.
“The children get so excited when they look through them,” she said.
Third grader Olaeapo Aliu said what he likes most is, “It shows you how to talk in sign language.”
Student David Donaldson said the dictionary “helps you learn a lot of new stuff.”
The third grade teachers use the dictionary as a reference in classroom lessons, according to teacher Deb Modica.
“The dictionaries help students with vocabulary skills, and when they know what more words mean, then their reading comprehension will improve. We also use the dictionaries to learn sign language,” said Modica. “It’s a wonderful gift, especially for students who don’t have a dictionary at home.”
To raise money for community service projects like this, the Rotary Club holds events like its annual auction, golf tournament and wine tasting.