By Mary O’KEEFE
Elementary school students throughout Glendale Unified School District received an early Christmas present – a gift that opened up an entire world.
“What state was President Lincoln born in?” asked Joe Allen, member of the Glendale Elks Lodge, of an audience of third graders at Mountain Avenue Elementary School. “Don’t know? We can look it up.”
Allen opened up a dictionary, one of many he brought for the kids. (Lincoln was born Kentucky.) Allen continued to quiz the kids on everything from the line of succession of presidents to word definitions.
The books are part of the Elks Dictionary Project. Each year members of the Elks Lodge of Glendale donate hundreds of dictionaries so every third grader within the school district will receive one.
“We donate to (20) Glendale schools and nine parochial schools in the area,” Allen said.
The kids loved the presentation and the books.
“They are excited about [the donation],” said Mountain Avenue teacher Melissa Stephan. “This is one of the best things the Elks do.”
She added that dictionary skills are part of their state standards. The donations allow all the kids to work with the same materials, and there is no cost to the families.
The kids lined up to get their dictionary, all wanting to ask Allen just one more question or share a story with him. Several began looking through the dictionary before they even went back to their classrooms.