This past week the Sonora 49er Rotary delivered the last of over 500 dictionaries given free to 3rd grade students in Chinese Camp, Jamestown, Columbia, Sonora, Tuolumne, Soulsbyville, Twain Harte and Pinecrest. The Groveland Rotary provided dictionaries to all the 3rd grade students in the Groveland area.
Sonora 49er Rotary raised nearly $6000 last fall with an “American Graffiti in Sonora” fund raiser. The dictionary project in California was begun at a Petaluma Rotary by a fellow named Harvey Freetly. He was able to work a deal with Simon and Schuster, the publisher of our beautiful MacMillan Dictionary for Children to allow Rotary Clubs to purchase these books in bulk for $7.95 (Retail is $17.95 plus tax). The original “dictionary project” was started by Mary French in South Carolina some years back. As you can see by her website dictionaryproject .org she has done a great job. However, the dictionaries she is distributing are paperback which cost about $1.00 each.
The books distributed locally are much more substantial with color photographs, diagrams, a great reference section including a thesaurus. Club officials say they have received rave reviews from both the students receiving them and the teachers and administrators alike.