The Lions Club is giving kids definitionDictionary Project provides for kids in the third grade at all elementary schools in Rosemount
By: Emily Zimmer, Rosemount Town Pages
Every fall third graders in the Rosemount area receive a dictionary from the Rosemount Lions Club. While it might not be the most exciting gift they have every received, it could be one of the more useful.
In this age of computers, the dictionary still fills a vital role in teaching kids the meaning of words, offering context on the meaning of language and even providing a little history. The Rosemount Area Lions Club believes dictionaries are an important tool for kids to have, so each fall the club buys more than 500 to distribute.
The club started the Dictionary Project five years ago. Over the years they have handed out thousands and it has become a rite of passage for third graders. Organizer Donna Wohlers said the club started the program after learning about it from another club.
The club gets the dictionaries through the Dictionary Project, a non-profit that provides dictionaries to groups who do similar programs all over the United States. The goal of the program is to assist all students in becoming good writers, active readers, creative thinkers and resourceful learners. According to the project's website, educators see third grade as the dividing line between learning to read and reading to learn, so the program encourages sponsors to give the dictionaries to children in the third grade.
Wohlers, along with other Lions Club members, takes the dictionaries out to the schools. Wohlers said it’s a lot fun to see the kids react.
“Oh my goodness they love them,” said Wohlers.
During the drop off Wohlers gives the kids a little lesson on the purpose of a dictionary and shares the history of the Lions Club. Then she roars and gets the kids to do it too. Wohlers said she tells every class that she’ll be at the Haunted Woods Trail handing out candy and that if they roar at her they will get an extra treat.
The Lions Club has ordered 550 dictionaries to hand out this year. They will distribute the books schools a couple weeks after school starts. She said they always order extra so if new kids move into the school later in the year they can still get a dictionary. They also give a few to the Rosemount Family Resource Center for the kids who frequent the center.
Third graders attending Rosemount Elementary School, Shannon Park Elementary, Diamond Path Elementary, Red Pine Elementary, St. Joseph’s Elementary and First Baptist Elementary receive dictionaries.
The Rosemount Lions Club has about 40 members. The club raises money by running Bingo at Celts Pub located in downtown. The club gives 100 percent of the funds it raises back to the community. The club sponsors the annual Spring Egg Hunt and helps sponsor several other community events. Additionally the club makes donations to organizations including 360 Communities, the city of Rosemount, Rosemount High School, Camp Confidence Learning Center and many more.