Rotary gives free dictionaries to Marysville third-graders

Rotary gives free dictionaries to Marysville third-graders - Kirk Boxleitner
Rotary gives free dictionaries to Marysville third-graders
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — Marysville-area third-graders received what’s become an annual donation from the Marysville Rotary.

For the third year in a row, Rotarians distributed free dictionaries to students in the Marysville School District, thanks to the Rotary’s annual “Pumpkins for Literacy” campaign.

At Quil Ceda Elementary, Daryn Bundy, Greg Corn, Wayne Zachry and Loren VanLoo were among the 30 Rotarians to visit 10 local schools and hand out close to 900 dictionaries Feb. 27, which the students were able to sign their names in and start using right away.

“Those of you who have already gotten your dictionaries, what I’d like you to do right now is look up the word ‘literacy,’” said Bundy, and he and his fellow Rotarians continued to pass out dictionaries to the rest of the third-graders. Bundy asked the students to raise their hands if they’d ever attended “Pumpkins for Literacy,” which many of them had, and he then explained to them that “Pumpkins for Literacy” raises money to buy dictionaries and other books for area students.

This year, another group beat Rotary to the punch in buying dictionaries for the third-graders of Liberty Elementary, while area Rotary chapters were also able to buy dictionaries for Lakewood third-graders. Bundy estimated that Rotary averages about 1,000 dictionaries a year for Marysville third-graders.

“We want you to have these dictionaries because third grade is a very important year in your development, as you become readers and writers,” Bundy told the students. “These dictionaries are a gift, but we’re giving them to you on the condition that you keep two promises; you’ll take care of these books, and you’ll use them because they’re an excellent tool for learning and they should last you until sixth grade, and beyond.”

In spite of the throngs of students at the distribution tables, the Rotarians were able to get in and out of each school in roughly 20 minutes. To minimize the impact on the students and their classes, the Rotarians scheduled two distribution times during the day — one at the start of the school day, when five schools were visited by three to five Rotarians each, with dictionaries in hand, and another near the close of the school day, when the remaining five schools were visited by the rest of the book-toting Rotarians.

While the Marysville Rotary receives approximately $3,000 in annual grants for their literacy efforts, Bundy pointed out that the program’s total cost is at least $15,000.

“We’re really gratified that Rotary supports our schools so much,” said Gail Miller, assistant superintendent of the Marysville School District. “This is just one of the ways they work on behalf of literacy. Last fall, they handed each of our elementary schools a check to purchase library books.”

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