Giving the gift of literacy to students in SD42

The Meadowridge Rotary Club will be handing out 1,200 Usborne dictionaries

Grade 4 students across the school district will be receiving their very own Usborne Dictionary next week thanks to the Meadowridge Rotary Club.

Around 1,200 dictionaries will be handed out in total.

“It was a legacy fund left over from the sports banquet four years ago and we decided this was what we wanted to do, a vocational program,” said Ineke Boekhorst, past president of the Meadowridge Rotary Club.

However, she said, this is their fourth and absolutely last year giving out the dictionaries because the fund has run out.

RELATED: Gift of literacy from Meadow Ridge Rotary

The program has cost around $10,000 each year.

Boekhorst says that when they tell the students they can write their name along a line at the front of the book, they are often amazed.

Then, she says, they give them a challenge for the first two or three weeks to find a word that they’ve never heard about and find out what it means.

“Once the whole class has it they are very quiet and enjoying their book,” said Boekhorst, adding that the pictures are beautiful.

It’s something, Boekhorst says, that despite computers, children enjoy because they can smell the newness of the book and share their discoveries with friends.

Boekhorst said it is heartwarming to see the children receive their books.

“Education, reading, writing, literacy is very important in Rotary, to educate the kids of the world to read and write,” said Boekhorst.

Dictionaries will be handed out Tuesday to Friday next week.

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