Elks Lodge gives dictionaries to local third graders

Linda Saholt

News Review Correspondent

Elks Lodge gives dictionaries to local third gradersLocal third-graders are getting a useful academic tool from the Elks Lodge No. 1913 Dictionary Project. The Elks’ nationwide project aims to get a dictionary into the hands of every third-grader in our country.

In Ridgecrest the Elks have been involved with this project for the last five years, from fund-raising to purchase the dictionaries to presenting them in schools.

“This year, we’re donating dictionaries to second graders as well as third graders, and in some cases to first graders,” said Dictionary Project Coordinator Odessa Newman-Staples.

“In the Randsburg School, we donated 10, because it’s such a small school, so every child got one.

“We donated to all the schools in the district, including Immanuel Christian School and the Adventist School. Altogether, we’ve given out thousands of dictionaries this year.”

“Of all the years we’ve been doing this, I was really impressed they included second and some first graders this year. What a wonderful thing to do! They’re thinking of the children,” said project participant Little Deer Durvin.

“We apply for various grants that the Elks have to offer,” said Newman-Staples. “We also do local fund-raisers.”

“The kids need to start learning early, to replace incorrect words with correct words,” said Letia “TJ” Bogan.

The latest edition of the dictionary includes new words, as well as an encyclopedia section.

“We’ll be making a presentation to the Sierra Sands Unified School District’s Board of Education sometime in January,” said Newman-Staples. “We’ll be donating a set of a thesaurus, a rhyming dictionary and one of antonyms and synonyms, one set for each school. This will be the first time we’ve done that.

“It’s our hope to reach students who are home-schooled, as well. We hope they will contact the lodge at 760-375-8551. Please call us and we’ll give you a dictionary, too.”

Story First Published: 2013-12-25