A local civic organization would like to see young children get excited about words, reading and writing.
To do so, members of the Augusta Elks Lodge 205 gave out copies of A Student's Dictionary to the Riverside Elementary School third-graders on Oct. 16.
"The most important thing here is to give the children the start that they need," said Tom Gorta, the Elks Lodge events coordinator.
The Elks plan to give dictionaries to third-graders in 13 schools in Columbia and Richmond counties this year.
In addition to the Riverside students, third-graders at Martinez, Westmont and South Columbia elementary schools have received dictionaries. The Elks also plan to include Bel Air Elementary third-graders in the project.
Robert Amy, the dictionary project coordinator, said the Elks would like to work with other organizations to expand the program to even more schools.
"Any time you can put another resource in a child's hands, it's always a good tool," said Melissa Britton, the Riverside media specialist.
The children, most of whom said "thank you" as they received their dictionaries, seemed to appreciate the effort.
"This is my first dictionary," said Charlotte Magruder, 8.
She said she thought it was a good idea for the civic organization to give dictionaries to schoolchildren.
"It will help them learn more about the words and how to pronounce them," she said.
Nicholas Iseman, 9, said he had several dictionaries, but all of them are different.
"This is probably the one I'll carry around with me the most," he said.
Caroline Frizzi, 8, said the dictionaries will help students with their writing.
"They're cool. And blue's my favorite color," she said.
Last year, the Dictionary Project, based in Charleston, S.C., gave away more than 1.9 million dictionaries nationwide. For more information or to sponsor a project, visit www.dictionaryproject.com.
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