How people speak defines them. Do they use words like nebulous and erroneous or are they more the type to use unclear and inaccurate? Words have power.
This message is a message the Princeton Rotary club brings to the students at Vermilion Forks School year after year. Their campaign has clout with the kids because the Rotary members don’t just talk about education and learning. Each year they arrive at the school housing the Grade 4 students weighed down with stacks of dictionaries.
Their campaign is not just local, but rather a campaign that crosses borders. Rotarians worldwide have united to make sure that there is never a shortage of dictionaries in schools wherever a chapter of their organization exists. The Grade 4 students are assembled annually for a present of a most unusual kind. Rather than toys or some electronic device, each Grade 4 student every year receives a Oxford Canadian dictionary that is theirs to keep. Students, years later, still use their dictionaries and have been known to take them off to university and their after graduation life with them.
“It is our pleasure to give these dictionaries out,” stated Rotary president Judy Short. “We do it every year and it is nice to see and hear that they are still using their dictionaries rather than just relying on computers.”
Treasurer Mike Talarico agreed. “The spell check on computers gives the American spelling of words, not our Canadian spelling of words. A good Canadian dictionary helps us keep our Canadian identity.”
“Once again, Rotary has sponsored this beginning of the year dictionary presentation,” stated principal Barry Clarke. “In checking with students from previous years, almost all students still had their dictionaries and reported that they use them both at home and at school. In today’s technological world where other options are available – students said they enjoyed being able to browse through the pages, find new words and look up words that they didn’t understand. Thanks to the Princeton Rotary Club for their ongoing support of our students.”
Adults are not afraid to state that they still use dictionaries to look up words they don’t know or to find a new way to explain something. Dictionaries offer knowledge, self-expression and opportunities to grow. They are a simple gift from the heart from a group that cares. Each dictionary carries with it hope – hope for continued learning and hope for a bright future.