Johnson City third grade students receive free dictionaries

Nearly 140 third grade students from Johnson City Elementary received free dictionaries from the Johnson City Rotary and Elks Lodge.
Nearly 140 third grade students from Johnson City Elementary received free dictionaries from...
Nearly 140 third grade students from Johnson City Elementary received free dictionaries from the Johnson City Rotary and Elks Lodge.(Maci Cosmore)
Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 4:24 PM EDT
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JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) -- On Wednesday, nearly 140 third grade students from Johnson City Elementary received free dictionaries from the Johnson City Rotary and Elks Lodge.

“We keep guessing with the Rotary how long we’ve been doing this and we have no idea,” said Elks Lodge Trustee Hope Woodcock-Ross. “We just know that every year we embrace it and take it on. Even with COVID last year, we came back and gave third and fourth graders dictionaries because we didn’t come out in 2020, but we came out in 2021 and we wanted to make sure in J.C. that every third grader gets a book.”

The program is part of “The Dictionary Project,” a nationwide campaign that aims to promote literacy in young students.

Woodcock-Ross said the goal is to give students access to information as they continue their education.

“I think by giving a child a book, you remind them the ability to pick that up and read it,” she said. “It’s theirs and they don’t have to share it with anybody. The ability to read and just develop their vocabulary and be able to have that conversation they can’t always have if they don’t figure out those new words that they want.”

Johnson City Rotary’s Rocky Martinez said the books are more than a dictionary. They also contain maps, sign language, and other resources students may ever need.

“We’re giving back the luck that we had in life and being successful, and we’re giving it back to the kids,” said Martinez. “This is an opportunity for us to give back to the kids. So, they can enjoy and take something and be part of their history.”

In addition to The Dictionary Project, the Johnson City Elks and Rotary also provide scholarships to graduating seniors each year.

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