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Oswego Third Graders Benefit From Elks’ Lodge Dictionary Project

OSWEGO, NY – One again the Oswego Elks’ Lodge 271 representatives toured Oswego  elementary schools and continued support of area youth.

For nearly a decade the local fraternal organization has rallied to assist education with the donation of hundreds of student dictionaries to third graders throughout the Oswego City School District.

Oswego School District elementary school students were excited to receive their new dictionaries from the members of the Oswego Elks’ Lodge 271.  Youngsters showing off their new reference book include (first row) Avalon Photos, Jerrett Harter, Jason Katzman, Olivia Day, Nicholaus DeSacia and Benjamin Hoefer. In the middle are Mary Culeton, Hunter Topley and Cammi Ahern. Joining the presentation ceremony in the classroom are Kingsford Park Principal Mary Volkomer, the Elks’ representatives Jan Pashley, Jim Dillabough and John Pelmear.
Oswego School District elementary school students were excited to receive their new dictionaries from the members of the Oswego Elks’ Lodge 271. Youngsters showing off their new reference book include (first row) Avalon Photos, Jerrett Harter, Jason Katzman, Olivia Day, Nicholaus DeSacia and Benjamin Hoefer. In the middle are Mary Culeton, Hunter Topley and Cammi Ahern. Joining the presentation ceremony in the classroom are Kingsford Park Principal Mary Volkomer, the Elks’ representatives Jan Pashley, Jim Dillabough and John Pelmear.

Jan Pashley, John Pelmear and James Dillabough were joined by other Elks’ and school district officials as they visited Charles E. Riley, Frederick Leighton, Kingsford Park, Fitzhugh Park and Minetto elementary schools to personally present the dictionaries.

Nearly 400 Oswego third graders are the beneficiaries of the nationwide “Dictionary Project.”

Pashley said, “This is a very worthwhile project that we have been involved in for several years. This is a great learning resource for these students and we are happy to be brining this program to our schools.”

Once again, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Cathy Chamberlain was extremely enthusiastic over the generous donation.

She said, “We are so grateful to the Elks. This is a wonderful tool for our students to use daily in their classrooms. We are very fortunate to have this type of community support from one of our valued organizations like the Elks.”

The excitement was evident as the Elks’ members journeyed from classroom to classroom presenting each student with their new book.  Immediately after receiving their new books the students proudly put their names on their newest possession.

Students busily thumbed through their new books and discovered a variety of subjects that they didn’t know were in the dictionary.  This project provides for learning and organizing dictionary skills that are beneficial for all students to improve writing, comprehension and grammar.

The “Dictionary Project” has been supported by the Oswego Elks’ Lodge. It originated in 1995 as Mary French of Charleston, SC, created the program to distribute dictionaries to as many third graders as possible.

In the last 16 years French, her board of directors and a network of volunteers, had raised enough money to put a dictionary in the hands of every public school third grader in South Carolina.

The Elks’ have adopted this effort in New York State.

Currently, the “Dictionary Project” has been implemented in all 50 states and the Oswego Elks’ Lodge once again displayed its dedication and commitment to Oswego’s children with the generous donation.