New dictionaries presented to students as part of annual giveaway

September 24, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN |
  • Emma K. Doub Elementary School third-grader Matthew Lintz peers from his newly-acquired dictionary Monday on his way to class. Several area Rotary clubs teamed together to provide dictionaries to third-grade students in Washington County schools.
By Kevin Gilbert

Emma K. Doub Elementary School third-grader Caleb Baer received a new dictionary as part of the annual Rotary Clubs of Washington County dictionary giveaway Monday morning and talked about how it is better than other dictionaries he has used.

“It’s a different edition than all the other ones, and what is really cool is you can sound them (words) out because there are spaces between the words,” he said. “If I need to spell a new word and can’t really spell it, I can look back in here to try to spell the word.”

The clubs kicked off their annual giveaway with a presentation at the elementary school Monday, providing more than 30 third-graders in the school with new dictionaries.

“We’re really trying to help kids understand that reading, writing and viewing are important concepts to being a fully literate citizen,” Washington County Public Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said. “This dictionary helps those kids expand their vocabulary, understand meaning and more richly embrace the language.”

Wilcox was at the school Monday along with Washington County Public Schools system and county officials for the presentation by area Rotary Club members.

All third-graders in public and private schools in Washington County will receive new dictionaries.

Some of the students at Emma K. Doub already have iPads, but third-grader Sylvie Downin, 9, of Sharpsburg, said she was looking forward to using the new dictionary and pointed out the differences between looking up a word in the dictionary and looking it up on an iPad.

“It’s not like there’s one word on each page, and it’s all in (alphabetical) order,” she said. “But the iPad is going to be easy because all you have to do is type in the word.”

Wilcox added that students can do certain things with a paperback dictionary they can’t do with an iPad.

“Kids can feel it,” Wilcox said. “They can mark it up in ways that they can’t necessarily mark up with a highlighter on an iPad.”

The dictionaries will be distributed to roughly 1,800 students in Washington County, according to Steve Wernick, director of elementary education.

This is the 10th year the Rotary Clubs have distributed the dictionaries. They are being distributed by representatives of the Rotary of Long Meadows, Hagerstown, Hancock, Sunrise and Williamsport, and $7,500 is being spent on them, according to Magnus Dahlgren, president of the Rotary Club of Long Meadows. The clubs are covering the costs, according to Wilcox.

Wernick said dictionaries help increase students’ interest in reading.

“It allows them to understand that words have different meanings, and they can use different words to replace and substitute other words,” he said. “It sparks their interest in learning how to use words, how words form and recognizing the patterns of words.”

The presentation Monday included a narration on film of the book, “The Boy Who Loved Words.”

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