Saint Paul Rotary started the Dictionary Project in the fall of 2006. Each year, dictionaries are donated to Saint Paul students in honor of our weekly presenters. That's over 3,000 dictonaries going to every third grader in the Saint Paul Public School system. Typically, half of the books are delivered in the classroom by Rotarians to each of the students - the other half are delivered by the schools distribution program.

This is a national program which is not operated by Rotary, but for which many Rotary Clubs are sponsors. Since its beginning, 9,629,418 children have received dictionaries from this program. Last year alone, 2,330,715 dictionaries were distributed. The goal of the program is to assist students in the third grade to be good writers, active readers, and creative thinkers.

There are several benefits that result from this program:

1. The Students receive a new dictionary which is their very own. Many of the students do not even have a book of their own and some families have no books in their homes.

2. It encourages students to be aware of words and to have fun with words - a really good learning tool.

3. It gives their teachers a tool that all of the students have to explore the world of words and, in addition, there are many interesting features at the back of the dictionary such as an atlas, biographical information and, a very popular item - the longest word in the English language.

4. It provides an opportunity for Rotarians to see the St. Paul schools in session and to meet and relate to both teachers and students. It develops a connection between Rotary and the Saint Paul Public Schools.

5. It is just plain fun for the Rotarians who participate.

The participation by St. Paul Rotary in The Dictionary Project is sponsored by funds contributed by members to the St. Paul Rotary Foundation. There are, in addition matching funds contributed by the Rotary District 5950. We have also received funding in the past from outside organizations.