Posted by Amy Luckiewicz on Dec 13, 2023
The Wakefield Rotary Club completed its annual Autumn donation of dictionaries to every third grader in Wakefield. 314 copies were hand-delivered to all Wakefield public schools as well as Odyssey and St. Joseph’s School. Diligent Rotarians Suzanne Bowering, Barbara Worley, Tom Stapleton, Joie Gerrish, Paul Adams, Wendy Maguire, Lisa Roderick, and Jill McWilliam visited each school and walked students through some of the resource’s highlights including how to look up the word “volunteer,” the American Sign Language alphabet, and historical information all included in the book.

The project has been going on decades. And although it may seem dated, there is evidence that hard copy dictionaries still have meaning. In a recent article, “Hold Onto Your Paperback Dictionaries, Don’t Throw Them Away,” Third Grade Teacher Heather Stamps highlighted several reasons for their relevance including exposure to new vocabulary and organization. She added, "Paperback dictionaries provide elementary school students with repeated exposure to the alphabetization method of information organization at a fixed cost." Fueled by this article, the feedback from Wakefield teachers and students’ smiles, the Wakefield Rotary Club looks forward to continuing this project for years to come.