By Mark Ambrogi
The Carmel Lions Club is doing its part to get Carmel third-graders well-versed in language.
The club started participating in the Dictionary Project five years ago by delivering to two Carmel elementary schools, said Bill Shaffer, a Carmel Lions Club member who coordinates the delivery of the books.
This year the club delivered to 11 schools, nine elementary schools in the Carmel Clay School system, along with Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Coram Deo Academy. The Rotary Club purchased and delivered dictionaries to Carmel Elementary and Orchard Park. Smoky Row was the Lions Club’s final stop on Oct. 2.
“Every third grader in the city now his or her own dictionary,” Shaffer said. “So that’s about 1,200 kids. The whole purpose is to make learning fun for them, give the teachers a little extra outside encouragement and make it a big deal.”
Smoke Roy Principal Kim Barrett said this was the first time her school had received the dictionaries.
“It’s nice to see the excitement from the children,” Barrett said. “They’ll put them to use in the classroom as well at home. We appreciate the Lions Club supporting Carmel Clay Schools.”
Shaffer said the publisher was paid $3,200 for the approximately 1,300 dictionaries the Lions Clubs delivered. Additional dictionaries are purchased in case of students transferring into the school or books that may be missing pages.
Shaffer said the Lions Club uses the money it collects from events such as the Pancake Breakfast in the spring and fall, the Fish Fry and other fundraisers.
“Most the money goes for people with sight problems,” Shaffer said. “We collect used eyeglasses that are shipped all over the world.”
The Fall Pancake Breakfast has been set from 7 to 11:30 a.m. Oct. 24.
For more, visit dictionaryproject.org.