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Rotary wows students with words

September 12, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - Hunter Morgan, 8, was flipping through the pages of his new dictionary seconds after receiving the gift.

He was on a mission.

He had to find the meaning of "neutron."

It wasn't to help with his third-grade science lessons at Winter Street Elementary School. Hunter was curious about the name of one of his favorite cartoon characters, Jimmy Neutron, who appears on "The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron" on Nickelodeon.

"I already looked it up," Hunter said. "I was excited to find 'neutron.'"

He looked up the word in a new dictionary donated through a joint project among five Washington County Rotary clubs. The clubs purchased and will distribute about 2,000 new dictionaries to all third-graders in 31 Washington County public, private and parochial schools.

This is the second year area Rotary clubs donated the dictionaries.

On Monday morning, officials distributed the dictionaries to Winter Street Elementary students.

"Getting anything like that in the students' hands is important," Principal Matt Semler said.

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Teri Leiter, president of Williamsport Rotary Club, put many of the dictionaries in the hands of eager students.

When Hunter received his, he looked at Leiter and said, "Thank you for caring about me."

David Abeles, president of Sunrise Rotary Club in Hagerstown, said members do care about the students who receive the dictionaries, and want them to use them at home or at school.

Breanna Gay, 8, said she was planning to take her dictionary home.

"I do a lot of reading at home," she said.

Breanna said when she first got the dictionary, she saw several hundred pages filled with words. She didn't realize there were so many, she said.

"I went, 'Wow,'" she said.

Before receiving the dictionary, Breanna and Charlotte Brodka, also a third-grader at Winter Street, said they often skipped over words they did not know. Now, they will look them up.

"I'm kind of really into reading, and I've never had a dictionary," Charlotte said. "I would just look, and think I know part of that word, or skip it."

Hagerstown Community College donated bookmarks and Hub Labels donated an inscription label.

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