Eighteen members of the Rotary Club of Sequim converged upon Sequim classrooms last week, carrying boxes of brand new Houghton Mifflin Children's Dictionaries.
"All the children are excited ... they've been waiting for you!" said Teresa Iversen, fourth-grade teacher at Greywolf Elementary.
It was the 10th year for
Sequim Rotary's Harry Hughes Memorial Dictionary Project.
Former club president Harry Hughes founded the project in 2000.
Rotarians Bob Schilling, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula, and Patra Boots of the Sequim School District, headed up this year's project.
"Sequim's fourth-graders have always been the chosen recipients of the books because statewide testing requirements begin with this group of children," said Al Dixon, Rotary past president.
Each year the club hands out free hardbound dictionaries to Sequim's fourth-grade students in Greywolf Elementary, Helen Haller Elementary, Five Acre and Mountain View Christian schools. In the past 10 years, Sequim Rotary has presented more than $20,000 worth of dictionaries as part of Rotary's local literacy project. The books become each child's personal property.
"The dictionaries are given to encourage the children to read and express themselves," said Rotary Club President Dick Hughes. "Handing out dictionaries to the kids has become one of our club members' favorite projects."
The dictionaries contain words children use today as well as a thesaurus and maps of the world.
One fourth-grade student said, "The first thing I looked up was 'rock and roll' and there it was."
Another student said, "I looked (up) 'armadillo' in my dictionary and it had a picture, too."
Sequim Rotary members participating this year were Boots, Dixon, Hughes, Schilling, Mary Budke, Dave Collins, Dan Fryer, George and Lorena Gurr, Tracy Hegge, Barbara Hughes, Stan Johann, John Lovett, Sara Maloney, David Mattingley, Kaz Nishimori, Millie North and Kevin Wall.
For more information about Sequim Rotary, visit www.sequimnoonrotary.org or call 460-7465.
The Sequim Gazette is located at 147 W. Washington Street in Sequim.
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