ST. GEORGE – In the age of technology with information readily available on iEverything, are paper dictionaries now obsolete? This is the question Rotarians in four local service clubs have asked themselves and 3rd grade teachers for several years when considering whether to continue providing dictionaries to young students in the Washington County School District.
In the end, since educators are divided on the question of relevancy of paper dictionaries, members of Red Rock, Dixie Sunrise, Hurricane Valley and St. George Rotary Clubs made the decision to once again purchase and distribute more than 3,000 dictionaries to 106 classrooms in all elementary schools in Washington County and Kane Counties, including George Washington Academy, Vista, Valor Hall and Valley Academy charter schools.
This 9-year-old community-wide Rotary service project is financed through a variety of fundraising activities. Red Rock Rotary uses funds raised at the Washington County Fair where members collect parking fees during four days in the “scorching hot Dixie sun” for the purchase of 426 dictionaries. St. George Rotary sold sweet California oranges to raise funds to purchase this year’s distribution of 1585 dictionaries. Dixie Sunrise Rotary delivered 380 dictionaries to 3rd graders in Kanab, Orderville, Colorado City/Hildale, Fredonia and Big Water with funds raised by working a food booth at the recent Thunder Over Utah Air show. Hurricane Valley Rotary raised funds to purchase 600 dictionaries by organizing and hosting the popular Easter Car Show.
Teachers from Vista Charter School expressed, “The dictionaries are always such a hit. Enthusiasm was running high even at the end of the day. I saw several students showing them proudly to their parents as they were picked up after school.”
One student recipient said, “Thank you for the Presidents of the United Stats page so we can outsmart mom and dad and family.”
Another said, “it is so nice for a guy like you tell your member there nice.”
Sally wrote, “Thank you your club is nice. I want to be in the Rotary club when I grow up.”
And Savanna said, “you are the best Rotary club ever.”
But the best letter of all was from Mark who wrote, “thank you for my new bich a naire. It will help us all throew life and now we know how to pronounce word’s and I alrete storteb it. You helpt us lrne a lote. You are so nice. I wish I cood tell this in prsen. You rock. I hope I can see you gis ugen.”
Rotary is an organization of professional men and women with 34,000+ clubs and nearly 1.3+ million members in more than 200 countries around the world. Rotary International focuses efforts on improving the health and welfare of underprivileged populations by providing water, education and health through projects administered by local Rotary clubs all over the world. See how Rotary is changing the world at www.rotary.org.
For more information about the dictionary project, about the organization of Rotary, or meeting times and locations of Rotary clubs in Washington County, call 435-669-8020.