In what’s become an annual tradition, Ramona Rotarians are visiting third-grade classrooms to tell the students about the service organization and what it does in the community—but primarily to give each student a dictionary.
For the 11th year, Rotary clubs participating in the Dictionary Project donate an English dictionary to third-graders in their community. In Ramona, students whose second language is Spanish also receive a Spanish-to-English dictionary.
The Ramona club ordered 420 English dictionaries and 120 Spanish-to-English dictionaries to distribute this year, said Amber Ramirez, Ramona Rotary member in charge of the project. Ramona Unified Superintendent Robert Graeff, also a Rotarian, helps coordinate the effort.
Cost to Ramona Rotary was approximately $964.
A Georgia woman started the Dictionary Project in 1992, when she gave 50 dictionaries to children attending a school near her Savannah home. The idea grew and organizations such as Rotary refined them.
The dictionaries belong to the students, and Ramona Rotary encourages them to use the reference book throughout their school career. Since many homes do not have a dictionary, students may keep the book in their backpack and use it at home and in the classroom.
Third-graders are learning word and dictionary skills, a reason Rotary selected that grade level.
In Ramona, Rotarians present each third-grader in Barnett, James Dukes, Ramona Community, Ramona, Mt. Woodson and Hanson elementary schools with his or her own Webster’s dictionary as early in the school year as possible.
Rotarians started presenting the dictionaries to Ramona third-graders this week and will finish on Tuesday, Oct. 9.
Ramona Rotary Club holds luncheon meetings in Ramona Valley Grill at 344 Main St. at noon on Tuesdays. For membership information, contact Bob Vaughn at 760-789-6858.