The Dictionary Project has been one of Sun Lakes Rotary Club’s most successful and rewarding projects that students, teachers, and Rotarians look forward to each year.  The project was started in 2003 and this year marks our 16th year of distributing dictionaries to all 3rd graders in the Chandler Unified School District and other schools outside of the District, including Indian Reservations, private schools, and
Title 9 programs in the immediate area.  Over 50,000 dictionaries have been distributed since the project began.
What makes the project so special is that this Dictionary contains more than just words and definitions.  It often represents the first personal book these children are given and contains sections on world geography, civics, multiplication tables, science, the water cycle, planets, the constitution, bill of rights, presidents and even has illustrations for sign language and braille.
Rotarians help in the preparation by putting stickers on each book containing the Rotary logo, the 4 Way Test, and inserting a book mark.  Each Rotarian goes to an assigned school and meets with the 3rd graders and teachers to explain the dictionary and talk about Rotary and its function as they present each child with their own personal dictionary that is theirs to keep and use at school and home.
The teachers have been our #1 supporter as they use the dictionary for class projects and take home assignments.  Not all the children has access to computers and the dictionary provides them with the ability to do group learning sessions where the children are told to find a word, read the definition, use it in a sentence or sound it out using the phonetics illustrated in the dictionary.
In short, we believe that this program helps the students become better spellers, readers, thinkers and citizens.  And, we have a great time from start to finish.  Thank you Roger Edmonds for being the Club Dictionary Project Chair.