Dictionaries Are A Treasure

Dictionaries are a treasure-trove of delight, a resource beyond compare and a necessity.  So it is no surprise that one of my favorite organizations is The Dictionary Project.  Dedicated to helping students become better readers, creative writers and resourceful learners  a personal dictionary is given to students to use in school and at home.  Volunteer organizations around the United States give dictionaries to third graders as this grade is the transition between learning to read and reading to learn.

The idea for The Dictionary Project came from a woman by the name of Annie Plummer who lived in Savannah, Georgia.  Each year she gave dictionaries to some children who went to a nearby school.  In her lifetime she gave away over 17,000 dictionaries.  Around the same time, Bonnie Beeferman from Hilton Head, South Carolina heard of the project and started giving dictionaries to students in Hilton Head and Charleston.  Bonnie received so many requests for dictionaries she asked for help from the community

Enter Mary French, a Charleston mother of two and community volunteer, who started providing dictionaries in Charleston and Summerville with the goal of providing dictionaries to all third graders in South Carolina.  She realized very quickly that this project needed serious funding.  In 1995, together with her husband, she formed a 501(C)(3) and with a Board of Directors, The Dictionary Project was born.

In 2002 The Dictionary Project went national and went on to include students in all 50 states.  Rotary Clubs, Lions, Clubs, Kiwanis, the Grange, the Elks Lodge and many other community organizations sponsor projects where they live.  Distribution of dictionaries to date stands at 14,756,000 with 2,461,000 in 2010 alone.

International projects in Central and South America and Africa are the newest addition to The Dictionary Project.

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4 Comments

Filed under Making A Difference

4 responses to “Dictionaries Are A Treasure

  1. Hi Pepi! As a member of the Dictionary Project team, I just wanted to let you know that we sincerely appreciate the kind mention and your dedication to highlighting worthy causes. With your permission, we’d love to share the link to your blog post on our website and Facebook page. We couldn’t agree more—dictionaries are a treasure—and we thank you for your support!

  2. Hello Sarah – I would be happy to have you share the link to my blog. I plan on several posts about The Dictionary Project over the next few months. Thank you so much.

  3. Thank you Pepi. We’re featuring your blog mention on our http://www.dictionaryproject.org homepage this week and on our Facebook page today if you want to check it out!

    • Sarah – how exciting. Thank you so much for sharing. I am planning additional stories about The Dictionary Project – there’s so much to say. Next will be my personal experiences with giving dictionaries to students. I’ve been involved with The Dictionary Project since 2001. Thanks again

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