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Caroline Rotary Club delivers dictionaries to every third grader in the county

Posted on Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 10:04 pm

The Rotary Club of Caroline delivered dictionaries to every third grader in Caroline County on Oct. 2 and 4.

Their Sept. 26 meeting was a working meeting as the members put bookplates in the front of every dictionary.

Some 384 dictionaries were delivered to Lewis & Clark Elementary, Madison Elementary and Bowling Green Elementary schools.

Next year the club will add Spanish-English dictionaries to the collection.

The idea for the dictionary project began in 1992 when Annie Plummer gave 50 dictionaries to children who attended a school close to her home.  In her lifetime, she raised money to buy 17,000 dictionaries for children.  Her dream inspired the creation of “The Dictionary Project,” a non-profit organization.

Rotary International is just one of many civic organizations that provide dictionaries to third graders, said Rotary member Kay Brooks, who retired this year as director of Caroline Libraries Inc.  A dictionary in the home serves as a resource not only for the child but also for the whole family.

Allen Ramsay, project coordinator, has been a member of Rotary since 1980 when his supervisor in South Carolina took him to a meeting and then said, “We expect you to join.”  He has always been impressed with what Rotary does worldwide, particularly with the eradication of polio.  “Not many people realize how devastating polio was and I’ve been amazed at how Rotary has raised so much money to inoculate people to combat the disease,” Ramsay said.

Ramsay has been a member of the Rotary Club of Caroline for more than 10 years and for the past five years, he has coordinated the dictionary project for the club. “For some of these children, they have never had a book of their own and the dictionary we give them helps them to develop into productive citizens,” Ramsay said.

Ramsay has enjoyed being a part of the Rotary Club of Caroline because through the Senior Gala, Little League sponsorship and working with the kids in the schools, “we are helping provide services to people in the community who might not otherwise receive any services.”