In this age of Google you might think that a dictionary is an old fashioned out of date object. Big and clunky it is not modern. So why would the rotary club of Langley sunrise give away 26000 dictionaries since 1999? The whole logistics of getting 1600 to 1800 dictionaries to 33 schools on the same day in September year and personally handing them to students and teachers is daunting.
The reason is that before we can walk we must crawl. Before we can use Google and really use Google well we must learn to search with trial and error and we must learn the alphabet and language in a way that helps us understand and view the world of information around us in a special way. That is really what the value of dictionary is. If you can learn to spell well enough to find it in a dictionary and if you can learn that Too, Two and To are all in the dictionary but with different meanings you can take that knowledge and really use Google well. Try this for example: If you type “Too many twos to” you get a much different result than “two many to too” or “too many tutus”. The difference in the results from Google is a result of where your spelling lead Google to look. If you learn to spell and how to use a dictionary you become a much better user of the “modern” tools we have today.
So who gets the dictionaries? Grade four students get them because grade 4 is the year that the dictionary is in the curriculum.
If you stop and think about it if we have given away 1600 dictionaries each year to grade 4 students we have reached about 25% of the population of Langley! That is a lot of people who have been impacted by Rotary. A lot of people who have the rotary message.