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Rotary Club gives back with dictionary donation

December 17, 2012

Starkville Rotarian Bob Whiteside places labels into dictionaries Monday as a part of the Starkville Rotary Club’s annual dictionary donation to third and fourth grade students in Starkville and Oktibbeha County. (Photo by Matt Crane, SDN)

Starkville Rotary Club members gathered Monday to begin work on the organization’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.

“Our club has opted to expand that and give them to fourth graders as well,” he said. “We’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.”

Box said while the Starkville club participated several years ago, the organization decided this year was time to bring back the tradition.

“We’re giving them to fourth graders as well this year because we did not give any out to third graders last year,” he said. “From this point forward, however, it will just be a third grade project.”

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.

“We will distribute them to the schools this spring,” he said. “About 1,100 children will get their own dictionary.”

Box said the club’s involvement with area school children is a priority.

“It’s important for our members to go to the school and interact with the children to see what school is like now,” he said. “We are all older and most of these folks haven’t been in elementary school for 50 years, so this is good for our club and the children as well.”

Echoing Box’s comments, Rotarian Keith Remy said education has alway been a major interest in focus for the Starkville Rotary Club.

“This 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,” he said. “Hopefully it will stimulate them into greater depths of learning and maybe give them a reason for going to school.”

An international civic organization, Box said the Rotary Club strives to live up to its motto of “Service Above Self.”

“What we do is serve others, and we have many projects we engage in,” he said. “We’re a group of men and women who enjoy getting together but also work to improve the community. It’s always rewarding to be able to help someone else.”

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