For the fourth year in a row, Baldwinsville third-graders received one of the most educational books in the English language -- the dictionary.
Members of the Baldwinsville Rotary Club gifted nearly 500 dictionaries to the students on Friday Nov. 2 and 9, visiting each elementary school in the district. In addition to the books, Rotarians imparted knowledge about their club and the various efforts they support both locally and internationally, including providing polio vaccines to children throughout the world, the Seneca River Days and the Rotary Christmas party for seniors.
"It is such a joy to hear the questions they ask and hear my fellow Rotarians talk about why they are Rotarians and enjoy this project," said Jacqueline Olmsted, a past president of the club. "This year one of the Rotarians had lived next door to the Eldens many years ago. Elden School is named for them, and he also knew Pearl Palmer. He told the children at Palmer School several stories about the families."
The dictionary project is one of the many service projects that rotary clubs participate in across the country. The project began in Savannah, Georgia about a decade ago and quickly spread throughout the nation. They chose third graders because they are most in need of dictionaries at their learning level.
"We all enjoy this service project probably more than any other," Olmsted said. "To see the eager faces of those third graders sends us home with happy hearts that we have really done something that will have a long lasting effect on the recipients. Literacy is always at the forefront in projects with Rotary International."