Rotary gives dictionaries in illiteracy battle
by MAC OVERTON
Nov 04, 2012 | 654 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy Photo / Tim Marshall<br>
THE GILMER ROTARY CLUB is giving away dictionaries to Upshur County third graders again this year. Rotarian Pete Herrmann said the club has been doing it for at least 10 years. On Wednesday morning, Union Hill students received theirs. Here, UH third grade teachers Cindy Lewis, left, and Lillie Neely stand with the back row of happy students showing their copies. For some students every year, it is the first book of their own they’ve ever had. The students include, front from left, Amber Strube, Heidi Shelly, Xaran Miller, and McKenzie Colbert. Second row, Christina Sanford, Trevor McCurry, Jonas Parish, Heavyn Smith and Grant Campbell. Third row, Keith Powell, Ethan Bramlett, Michael Colbert, Hailea Downs and Hunter Moye. Back row, Ms. Lewis, Brayden Bullock, Ryan Brown, Krisan Mowery, Lucy Davis, Sunshine Scott and Ms. Neely.
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The Gilmer Rotary Club is continuing a Fall tradition that has been going on for at least ten years—giving dictionaries to every third grader in the public schools in Upshur County.

This week, Union Hill students received theirs on Wednesday morning, and Ore City’s were delivered on Thursday afternoon.

In all, about 480 of the special “Student’s Dictionaries” will be handed personally to each student by the time this year’s program is complete.

There is a nameplate in the front of each book for the child to personalize his or her copy, and show parents that the dictionaries belong to the children.

Gilmer Rotarian Tim Marshall said equivalent dictionaries are sold on the Internet for up to $12 each, but by buying in quantity, the club is able to get them for all the third graders in the county for close to $1 each.

Each dictionary contains a card for the students to show their parents, explaining that the books are gifts from the Rotary Club, and encouraging the parents to have the children “look it up” if there is a question about how to spell or pronounce a word, or its meaning.

For some children, it is the first book they’ve ever personally owned.

The 524-page paperback contains nearly two dozen tables, guides and information sections, such as capsule biographies of every U.S. President up to Barack Hussein Obama, maps, information about the 50 United States, the Periodic Table, multiplication tables, etc.

There is even a page devoted to the longest word in the English language, an enzyme containing 267 amino acids. The word is 1,909 letters long. (And we’re not going to tell you what it is. You’ll have to find a third grader to “look it up.”)
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