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Rotary shares the words with students

Third-grade students at Locust Elementary School each received copies of “A Student’s Dictionary” recently, courtesy of the West Stanly Rotary Club.

The distribution of the reference guides is part of The Dictionary Project, Inc., a charity based in Charleston, S.C., and supported by Rotary clubs nationwide. The organization, founded in 1995, provides personal dictionaries for students, and 2020 marks the eighth year that Rotary organizations in Stanly have participated.

West Stanly Rotary members Fran Albritton and Larry Hatley presented the dictionaries to the students at a brief assembly, during which they prompted the youngsters to plunge into the books.

Amalia Whitley enjoys her copy of “A Student’s Dictionary” at Locust Elementary School.

“Can anyone tell me the longest word in the English language?” Hatley asked the group, prompting a number of incorrect responses such as “presidential” and “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” The correct response, however, (which at 1,099 letters occupies an entire page of the dictionary) was found on page 373 of the dictionary, and describes a “Tryptophan synthetase protein that contains 267 amino acids.”

Albritton followed by asking students to locate the definition of “education.” Malia Whitley located and delivered the correct answer on page 111 of the book, which is “the process of teaching and learning; acquiring knowledge.”

With education defined, Albritton and Hatley informed students they would find their newly-presented dictionaries to be an educational aid, not only for grammar and spelling, but for social studies and math as well. This is because unlike traditional dictionaries, “A Student’s Dictionary” includes information such as biographies of the U.S. presidents, texts of the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution and information on weights and measures in addition to the customary word pronunciation, definitions and spelling.

Teachers Mandi Simmons and Raquel Tucker say the books will be a valuable addition to their classrooms.

“We will be using these every day,” Simmons said.

“They will be very helpful in spelling and vocabulary building,” Tucker added.

Hatley encouraged students to refer to the Rotary “Four-Way Test,” printed inside the book’s cover, when making future decisions on things they think, say or do.

“Ask yourself these four questions…Is it the truth? Is it fair to everyone? Will it build goodwill and better friendships?…and…Will it be beneficial to everyone?”

“If you can answer yes to all those questions when you are making a decision, it will help you make good choices,” he said.

Toby Thorpe is a freelance contributor for The Stanly News & Press.