Marysville Rotary hands out dictionaries to students

From left, Allen Creek Elementary third-grader Jessica Apgar beams as she receives her dictionary from Marysville Rotarian Wayne Zachry. - Kirk Boxleitner
From left, Allen Creek Elementary third-grader Jessica Apgar beams as she receives her dictionary from Marysville Rotarian Wayne Zachry.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — An estimated 50 Marysville Rotarians descended upon the elementary schools of Marysville and Lakewood March 5, bearing hard-bound gifts that they hope will keep on giving the gift of knowledge.

While the Marysville Sunrise Rotary dispensed 200 American Heritage children’s dictionaries, valued at $17.95 each, to fourth-grade students at Lakewood Elementary, the Marysville Rotary visited 10 elementary schools in Marysville to distribute the same type of dictionaries to roughly 1,000 third-grade students. The actual number of Marysville third-graders who received dictionaries was 912, but the extras were left behind for possible transfer students.

For their fourth annual dictionary giveaway, Marysville Rotarians again split up into two shifts, to hand out the hard-bound books at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., to pass them out as efficiently and with as little disruption to the students’ learning day as possible.

“Now, I want you all to look up the word ‘literacy,’” said Daryn Bundy, chair of the Marysville Rotary’s “Dictionaries in a Day” campaign, to the assembled third-grade students of Allen Creek Elementary. “Found it? It’s the ability to read and write, and these dictionaries will help you do just that. Now, I want you all to make two promises to me — that you’ll take care of these dictionaries, and that you’ll take them home and use them well.”

Allen Creek Elementary third-grade teacher Darlene Strand praised the Rotarians for supplying her students with a learning tool that she anticipates they’ll use every day.

“They’re so excited about it,” Strand said, as the students paged through their dictionaries. “Right away, even before they were told to look up ‘literacy,’ they were already looking up things like animals and doing their own research.”

Marysville School District Superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland joined in helping students sign for their dictionaries, and he expressed equal enthusiasm.

“Rotary does awesome work for our schools,” Nyland said. “They’ve been instrumental in the building of just about every one of our playgrounds, and they’ve given out a number of grants and scholarships. It’s funny my grandfather settled in Index in 1907 not knowing a word of English, and he taught himself by using the dictionary. This has tremendous value, and it’s a tremendous partnership.”

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