Posted by Kathy Buck

An annual project of the Rotary Club of Emmett (and many other Rotary clubs) is to purchase dictionaries for all the 3rd graders in Gem County with the financial assistance from a Rotary District Grant.  This has been a practice for many years and some people question, in this age of computers, why dictionaries?

The answer is in the faces of the children who receive them; the excitement they display of getting their “own” dictionary.  They are asked to put their names in their dictionary so if it gets misplaced we know who to return it to.  Then we explore the dictionary together and they learn this is not JUST a dictionary!

We find the page with the longest word in the dictionary (1,909 letters); learn about the Presidents of our country, share the page with the sign language alphabet, talk about the Braille page, visit a country of the world – this year it was Brazil since our Rotary foreign exchange student is from Brazil this year – and talk about the equator.  We watched excitement grow with each topic. They were excited with their gift and we, as Rotarians, were gifted with their excitement.  There really is nothing like it.

A special thanks to Rotarians Mary Knight, Staci Carr, Bryan Stone, Sue Beitia, Daniel Brice, Alan Caraway and his wife Kay for giving of their time to be the “gifters”.  For some of these, it was the first time they were involved in the distribution and all proclaimed it “the best thing ever” and ”sign me up for next year!”