Kiwanis Club gives dictionaries to third-graders

PAULA NEUMAN

Third-grade students in Wyandotte, Ecorse, River Rouge and Lincoln Park are looking up words in their very own paperback dictionaries, thanks to Kiwanis Club 1000 of Wyandotte.

Each year since 2007, the club members have donated dictionaries as part of the nonprofit Dictionary Project, a national effort to “assist all students in becoming good writers, active readers, creative thinkers, and resourceful learners.”

The Kiwanis members hand out the dictionaries to children in person each year, and both donors and recipients seem to enjoy the experience. This year was a little different, however, because of the pandemic, and the 801 books had to be delivered to school offices to minimize person-to-person contact.

“We couldn’t deliver the books in person this year,” said George Lukawski, past president of the club. “We enjoy doing that every year.”

Are paper dictionaries outdated in the age of the internet? Educators say no, not for grade-school children.

“Educators see third grade as the dividing line between learning to read and reading to learn, so we encourage our sponsors to give dictionaries each year to children in the third grade,” states the Dictionary Project website.

The city’s Kiwanis Club, organized in 1923, is Wyandotte’s oldest civic group and focuses on helping children and on other charitable projects. Wyandotte Kiwanis 1000 meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Call club President Dennis Ray at 734-250-3028 for more information.

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