Rotary Club gives dictionaries to students

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Members of the Rotary Club handed out dictionaries to Caldwell County 5th graders this week.

September is Rotary International's Basic Education and Literacy Month. In conjunction with this focus on education and literacy, the Princeton Rotary Club presented a dictionary/thesaurus to each 5th grade student at Caldwell County Elementary School on Wednesday, September 4.

As part of The Dictionary Project, established as a non-profit association by Mary and Arno French in 1995 in South Carolina, the goal of the program is to assist students in becoming good writers, active readers, creative thinkers, and resourceful learners by providing them with their own personal dictionary.

By 2002, The Dictionary Project had become a national program.

The local Rotary Club chose 5th graders after consulting with CCES Principal Malissa Thomas and several teachers, who noted the curriculum for that grade level includes on-demand writing. With one of Rotary International's six Areas of Focus being basic education and literacy, this program was a perfect fit for the local club and the school.

Local club members placed stickers in each book which indicate they were provided for the student by the Rotary Club of Princeton, and included a space for them to write their own name inside.

For more information about The Dictionary Project, visit

Rotarians taking part in the distribution were Karen Burris, Roy Burris, Gale Cherry, Melissa Earnest, Stefanie Hicks, and J. D. Wilson, along with Princeton Police Department Officers Bradley French and Nathan Herron, who is the School Resource Officer.

In conjunction with The Dictionary Project, the local Rotary Club has continued their partnership with The Free Reading Program for students in kindergarten through 6th grade. The primary objective of this program is to improve literacy through fundamental skills reinforcement activities. It includes 266 learning units and over 3,600 interactive learning activities, designed to engage young learners and instil confidence through a quiz and success-based teaching approach.

The program is free, and all a student needs to register is a parent or guardian with an email address and internet access on a computer or tablet.

This is for all students -- public school, private school, or home school. Simply visit the Princeton Rotary Club's personalized page at Click "Create Free Account" and submit an email and create a password. Once the email address is confirmed, all children in the family will have access to the learning units and activities.

The Princeton Rotary Club learned about these programs through the Presidents-Elect Training Seminar (PETS) and the International Fellowship of Rotarian Educators. The local club meets each Tuesday at noon at the Majestic House Restaurant. Visitors are always welcome to attend.