As part of the national project, Washington County SOAR! recently carried out The Dictionary Project, distributing free dictionaries to every third grader in the county. Pictured here are third graders from Mrs. Ellis’ class at East Washington Elementary and SOAR! board member, Alice Nevels. The program was financed by sponsors from the community.
To most adults a dictionary is nothing to get excited about. That is not the case when Washington County SOAR! visited all the third grade classrooms in the county to distribute free dictionaries to each student.
As part of the National Dictionary Project, SOAR! requested sponsors from the community to help purchase the dictionaries….all 350! Representatives of SOAR! then visited each classroom and presented a short dictionary lesson. Aside from teaching the basics of the dictionary, the representatives also helped the students explore the other features that make these dictionaries special.
The front of the book is dedicated to definitions, traditional words, and pronunciations; the back of the book is more of an almanac. The representatives show the students how to use the multiplication table and look up a map of the world as well as a map out of this world. The students discover the longest word in the English language, which is the students’ favorite part of the lesson.
This year, SOAR! representatives were made up of tutors, volunteers and a board member. Representatives were tutors Anita Sturgeon, Ken Powell, and Stephanie Martin, volunteer, Stephanie Rockey and board member, Alice Nevels. All five assisted SOAR! staff with The Dictionary Project, which took three days to complete. SOAR! would also like to thank our sponsors for purchasing the dictionaries. Sponsors were Anne & Norman Terrell, Barbara Collins, Bob & Evelyn Holler, Eva Warren-Hill, Fox & Kristy Purlee, Fredericksburg Lions Club, Lincoln Hills, Roland & Anita Sturgeon, Salem Barber Shop, Salem Crossings, Salem Exchange Club, Salem Lions Club, Salem True Value, Sherry & Jerry Hammond, Washington County Prevent Child Abuse, and the Washington County Substance Abuse Council.
For some students this is the only book they may own and this is a fun way to promote literacy. The Dictionary Project along with Put Your Nose In A Book are components of the family literacy program of SOAR!