By Mary O’KEEFE
Third graders from Mountain Avenue Elementary received an academic treat last week when members of the Glendale Elks Lodge 1289 gave each of them a new student dictionary.
The Glendale Elks Lodge joined The Dictionary Project five years ago, said Joe Allen, Glendale Elks member.
Allen along with fellow Elks member Marc Sena and friend Bryan Benz delivered the dictionaries to Mountain Avenue third graders.
The Glendale Elks Lodge is part of The Dictionary Project that began in 1992 when Annie Plummer in Savannah, Ga. donated dictionaries to third grade classes at a nearby school. She established the donation as an annual event and began raising funds to help promote the effort.
In 1995, the effort was officially christened The Dictionary Project, a non-profit organization, according to the project’s website.
Soon it went beyond the Georgia state borders and grew throughout the nation with the help of organizations like the Glendale Elks Lodge. The project is a national and international program and to date has donated over 16 million dictionaries.
Glendale Elks distribute to third graders in all Glendale district elementary schools and most of the local parochial schools, said Allen
The dictionaries are not limited to the traditional characteristics but also have a periodic table, a list of presidents and some encyclopedia features. But at its foundation, it is a dictionary that kids can carry with them throughout their academic career … and can have fun trying to pronounce the longest word in the dictionary: Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, an obscure term referring to a lung disease caused by silica dust.
The real fun for the Mountain Avenue students was listening to Allen’s attempt to pronounce the word.
And of course everyone’s favorite word was shared: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
“It’s a word to say when you don’t know what to say,” Allen said.
The kids were also given a bookmarker with pictures of superheroes.
“Heroes don’t use drugs or alcohol,” Allen said.
The bookmarkers read, “Too Smart To Start.”
The books and bookmarkers were handed out to the kids and to the teachers as well.
Allen will continued the dictionary deliveries on Tuesday at Fremont Elementary School.