Catlettsburg Elementary third grade students eagerly turn through the pages of their new dictionaries as Ashland Rotary Club member, April Perry, explains the Rotary motto Service Above Self.
“Can you look up the word ‘service’ and tell me what the definition is?” Perry prompts them and they scurry to find the word. Club members wander purposefully around the room helping the students, gently instructing them on how words are alphabetized.
The scene above is repeated in every other third grade class in Boyd County Public Schools on September 27th as the Ashland Rotary Club members visit and distribute new dictionaries. The give-away is in its sixth year now.
Rotary Club President, Vincenzo Fressola, is proud to have members continue the tradition.
“The kids are so excited,” said Lori Cooksey, club member who distributed dictionaries at Cannonsburg Elementary. “You might think that a dictionary is an obsolete item, but it isn’t.”
“There’s a sense of ownership and they’re proud of it,” added Rotarian Ed Neeley. “They are always happily surprised when they can write their name in it.”
April Perry agrees that ownership is an important part. Having their very own paperbound dictionary inspires the students to explore words and their world in a new way. Perry, who was the first woman President of the Catlettsburg Rotary Club in 1988, said this is her favorite part of being in the club. “I look forward to this more than anything else all year. To see the kid’s faces light up and their excitement is so wonderful.”
Dylan Clark, a third grader at Catlettsburg in Ms. Valentine’s class, turns to the maps section of his dictionary. He proudly tells his desk mates “Look, here’s Alabama. That’s where my cousins live!”
“I’m going to read the whole thing,” proclaims one Summit Elementary student. Another asks, “Does it have a table of contents?” The answer is given that the entire dictionary could be seen as a table of contents. Every word imaginable is contained within its pages.
Rotary Club members who visited Boyd County Public Schools were: Vincenzo Fessola, Tania Lambert, Gretchen Short, Lori Cooksey, Ed Neeley, Jay Witlatch, Kim Bryant, Mary Dennis, Marty Kershner, Stuart Webb, Ryan Reams, April Perry, Debbie Gaines, Jim Hall and Kim Yates.