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September 25, 2018

Oswego Third Graders Benefit From Elks Lodge Dictionary Project


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OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego Elks Lodge 271 has always been supportive of the area youth.

Kingsford Park Elementary School students Jacob Hauser, Emily Bradshaw, Katherine Volkomer and Alex Emmons proudly display their new dictionaries. Also on hand are teacher Christine Castiglia, Elks member William Reedy, KPS Principal Mary Volkomer and Elks member Fred Byrne.

Kingsford Park Elementary School students Jacob Hauser, Emily Bradshaw, Katherine Volkomer and Alex Emmons proudly display their new dictionaries. Also on hand are teacher Christine Castiglia, Elks member William Reedy, KPS Principal Mary Volkomer and Elks member Fred Byrne.

For the fifth consecutive year the local fraternal organization has rallied to assist education with the donation of hundreds of dictionaries to third graders throughout the Oswego City School District.

Past Exalted Rulers Bill Reedy and Fred Byrne visited Charles E. Riley, Frederick Leighton, Kingsford Park, Fitzhugh Park and Minetto elementary schools to present the dictionaries.

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

This effort to personally distribute the dictionaries has taken the Elk’s to all of the elementary schools.

Byrne noted, “We have been involved in this project for five years. We have been able to distribute over 3,000 dictionaries and this year we have also included Pulaski and Mexico.”

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Cathy Chamberlain said, “We are so grateful to the Elks for this generous donation of dictionaries for grade three students. This resource will be a wonderful tool for them during their daily classroom instruction. 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.

Reedy said, “I think we are as excited about this as the students.” Throughout New York State tens of thousands of dictionaries have been distributed by the Elks.”

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 embraced 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.

Ernest Southworth, Grand Lodge Activities Dictionary Project Coordinator, said, “A dictionary helps a student to benefit from increased self-reliance and resourcefulness inspired by the maxim ‘look it up.’”

In the last 14 years French, her board of directors and a network of volunteers, have 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.

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