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Starkville Rotary Club members gathered Monday to begin work on the organizationâ€™s annual dictionary donation project.
Larry Box, chairman of the dictionary committee, said Rotary District 6,820 sets in place a project to give every third grade child a personal dictionary.
â€śOur club has opted to expand that and give them to fourth graders as well,â€ť he said. â€śWeâ€™ll be giving every third and fourth grade student in Oktibbeha County a dictionary from the public schools, private schools, home schools and Starkville Christian School.â€ť
Box said while the Starkville club participated several years ago, the organization decided this year was time to bring back the tradition.
â€śWeâ€™re giving them to fourth graders as well this year because we did not give any out to third graders last year,â€ť he said. â€śFrom this point forward, however, it will just be a third grade project.â€ť
Free to the children, Box said each dictionary will come with a Rotary label with a place for them to sign their name as well as the Rotary four-point test.
â€śWe will distribute them to the schools this spring,â€ť he said. â€śAbout 1,100 children will get their own dictionary.â€ť
Box said the clubâ€™s involvement with area school children is a priority.
â€śItâ€™s important for our members to go to the school and interact with the children to see what school is like now,â€ť he said. â€śWe are all older and most of these folks havenâ€™t been in elementary school for 50 years, so this is good for our club and the children as well.â€ť
Echoing Boxâ€™s comments, Rotarian Keith Remy said education has alway been a major interest in focus for the Starkville Rotary Club.
â€śThis is one thing that club and a number of clubs in the district do is to get dictionaries in the hands of third graders when they might not have a book of their own,â€ť he said. â€śHopefully it will stimulate them into greater depths of learning and maybe give them a reason for going to school.â€ť
An international civic organization, Box said the Rotary Club strives to live up to its motto of â€śService Above Self.â€ť
â€śWhat we do is serve others, and we have many projects we engage in,â€ť he said. â€śWeâ€™re a group of men and women who enjoy getting together but also work to improve the community. Itâ€™s always rewarding to be able to help someone else.â€ť