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JC Elks, Rotary Distribute 169 Free Dictionaries to Third Graders

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Third graders in Johnson City received free dictionaries Friday morning thanks to the Johnson City Elks Lodge and the Johnson City Rotary Club.

The organizations distributed 169 dictionaries in total to the students at the Johnson City Intermediate School, going classroom to classroom, shaking hands with each lucky scholar.

Teachers say the dictionaries are important for students to expand their vocabulary beyond what’ found in a regular textbook.

“Third graders, in particular, are targeted for this because third grade is the time when kids really know how to read. So they’re no longer learning to read, they’re reading to learn, and what better place than a dictionary?”

The books are particularly special today, as more and more children are utilizing cell phones and tablets to learn.

“You can never really get away from books. There’s something about holding a book in your hand, turning the pages, looking up that information. The kids are very very enthusiastic and they remember older brothers and sisters receiving dictionaries and it’s really a time-honored tradition here in Johnson City.”

The dictionary program began in Johnson City in 2004 and is a part of a nationwide campaign called “The Dictionary Project”, aiming to promote literacy in young students.