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Rotarians promote literacy with dictionary donations
Rotary dictionaries pic2
Chelsea Alton's 3rd grade class enjoy browsing through their new dictionaries that were donated by the Turlock Sunrise Rotary Club. - photo by CANDY PADILLA/The Journal

The Turlock Sunrise Rotary Club is hoping to pass along a love of words to local youth by giving every third grade student their very own dictionary.

The Rotary Club partnered with 18 schools in Turlock and surrounding communities to promote education by distributing 1,580 dictionaries.

"It gives our club great satisfaction and joy to visit the schools annually. We have a lot of fun answering the students questions about what is Rotary, what career we are in, who is our favorite team in sports," said Billy Lopez, who has been the coordinator of the dictionary project for the past five years.

Lopez said the dictionary donations allow the children to look up words at home or 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," he said.

The schools that received donated dictionaries include: Brown, Crowell, Cunningham, Earl, Julien, Medeiros, Osborn and Wakefield elementary schools in the Turlock Unified School District, along with Turlock Christian, Denair Elementary, Sacred Heart, Chatom Elementary, Hilmar Elementary, Hilmar Merquin, Keyes Union Elementary, Keyes Learning Center, Empire Elementary and Gratton Elementary.