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Rotarians offer the gift of learning
Rotary dictionaries
Rotorians Billy Lopez and Jesse Sanghera deliver dictionaries to third graders at Crowell Elementary School in October. - photo by Photo Contributed

The Turlock Sunrise Rotary Club is fostering literacy in local students by giving each third grader a valuable learning tool — a dictionary.

"Our Turlock Sunrise Rotary Club  is passionate about education and literacy in our communities so we feel strongly that giving 3rd (grade) students their personal dictionary through our 1,580 annual dictionary donation is important. It allows the children to look up words, at home, anyplace, anywhere, any time. The computer has not replaced the dictionary. Students still need to learn the technique of looking up words in a dictionary. Some students today do not have the privilege of a computer or internet at home. So the dictionary is still a very good resource for the student," said Rotary project chairperson Billy Lopez.

The Rotary  Club has partnered with 22 schools over the past 10 years in Turlock and surrounding communities to promote education through dictionary donations.  The Rotarians deliver the dictionaries to third grade classrooms and often interact with the students.

"We have a lot of fun answering the students' questions about what is Rotary, what career we are in, (and) who is our favorite team in sports, 'Go Giants,'" said Lopez.

The dictionaries are bought in bulk through the national Rotary organization and costs the local Rotary club about $4.85 each.

The Sunrise Rotary Club also promotes education through scholarships, speech contests, and by sponsoring the Every 15 Minutes anti-drunk driving program and Sober Grad Night events.