Pictured: Silver Ridge 3rd graders with Silverdale Rotarians Mariam Camery and Mary Hoover in the back row in January 2016.
 
As a follow on to our ninth annual joint 3rd grade dictionary project with the East Bremerton Rotary Club, Dick Sims, an East Bremerton Rotarian, wanted to share a few words regarding the project. The Silverdale Rotary Club and Rotary Club of East Bremerton join together each year and donate dictionaries in elementary schools. Sims, the Dictionary Chairperson, had this to say: 
 
The third-grade dictionary project began in 2008 and has run continuously in the Central Kitsap School District. Every year, every third grade class gets a visit by Rotarians with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt American Heritage Children's Dictionaries in hand. These dictionaries become the property of each student.
 
During this visit, the students write their name in the front of the book and Rotarians give a brief overview of what Rotary is all about and then ask the students to help repeat the Four Way Test. One of the fun things to ask during the last test (Will it be beneficial to all concerned?), is if the students know the definition of beneficial. Most of the time there is no answer, so we ask the students, "where do you think we can find out what it means?" Certain students understand to look up the word and discover the answer. As a class, we then look up the word together. 
 
To date, more than 8,000 dictionaries have been handed out.
 
In many cases, this is the only book the student owns, and they become very possessive of their new books. Occasionally there is a conflict between a pair of siblings (third and fourth grader) in mixed classes where the students recently transferred. It is always fun to sneak a dictionary to a fourth grader. 
 
The teachers and students always show their appreciation with thank you notes and pictures. 
One of my favorite memories came when I was presenting a topographical to a junior high school class.The presentation was in the library, and all the students were on the floor. As I finished my presentation, I called on a young man who had been raising his hand in the back. He jumped up, ran forward and exclaimed, "I know you, you're the dictionary guy!" I responded that we enjoy doing the program, and he said, "just a minute." He ran to the back of the room, opened his backpack and pulled out his third-grade dictionary. The student was 4-6 years removed from our gift, but he was still carrying it. To his credit, the dictionary was worn and really showing its use.
 
The thank you notes are always fun to share with the club.
 
Respectfully, 
Dick Sims