Feb 022016

by Glenys Ryder
Community Service Chair

The Dictionary Project has wrapped up for another year at Danville Junction Grange #65, and what a fun time we have had with it!!!  We have visited five schools in Auburn and New Gloucester and distributed about 420 dictionaries to third graders!  It is so rewarding to see those enthusiastic and excited faces as they scan their new dictionaries!  One of my friends whose grandson received his dictionary called me up  and said, “You made my grandson so happy today!  He came through the door, saying, ‘Nana, see my new dictionary!  And you know, Nana, it isn’t just a plain dictionary.  It has planets and presidents and a lot of other stuff in the back!'”

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  4 Responses to “Danville Does Dictionaries!
-- Danville Junction Grange presents 420 dictionaries to third graders

  1. Good morning, just read your article about your dictionary give-away. What a great idea…would you be interested in a set of World Book encyclopedias and several Yearly Events books? I have had them packed and really don’t want to just them out.
    Thank you
    Joline Gagne

  2. Thanks, Joline… I’ve forwarded your offer to the folks at Danville Junction Grange. Someone should start a rescue mission for printed encyclopedias! It’s been my experience that schools and libraries appreciate the sentiment, but rarely have use and space for them. If anyone has an outlet or idea, please let us know and we’ll share it!

  3. Although the heart is in the right place, the delivery is antiquated. I don’t know anyone in the modern business world that uses a paper dictionary and our children are unlikely to consult such a reference as well when so much information is accessed from their fingertips. I realize however that there is a great divide in the “haves” and “have nots” with regards to information – those who can afford Internet and computers in their homes and therefore have ready access to such information, and those that do not have such access.

    Why is the funding used to purchase paper dictionaries that no one will use when instead it could be diverted to providing equal access to digital information? To me that is the true equalizer.

    • Thanks for your comment… While your point is well-taken, in addition to the fact many children do not have ready access to online resources, a more important consideration is the ownership and sense of empowerment paper dictionaries provide our students. In our local program, sixth graders attend “Dictionary Day” with their well-worn paper dictionaries, explaining to the third graders how helpful they have been over the past three years. Just last year I was approached by a high school senior who thanked me and shared that she still has and uses her paper dictionary. When we consider the return on investment from this program, it just makes sense.

      The Grange does support equal access and actively lobbies for rural broadband access. But this is not a zero-sum game of trading books and other media for digital access.

      As an educator, I personally believe knowledge is the great equalizer, not the mechanism by which it is increased. Perhaps the day will come when paper books and dictionaries will be obsolete, but until then, this program has great value. Additional information is available at the Dictionary Project website..

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