Volunteers from throughout the community gathered at the Columbus Public Library Thursday morning to prepare nearly 3,000 dictionaries for delivery to third-grade students in Muscogee County and Fort Benning schools.
The dictionaries, provided by the Rotary Club of Columbus through a partnership with The Literacy Alliance, will begin arriving in classrooms today, said Barbara Moushon, executive director of The Literacy Alliance. She said it will take until January to get all dictionaries into students' hands.
About 40 volunteers placed labels inside each dictionary before packaging them with a pen inscribed with “Class of 2020.”
Moushon, who wears a cap and gown when handing out the dictionaries, said the occasion also gives her a chance to stress the importance of education.
“We try to help them visualize themselves staying in school and graduating on time,” Moushon said.
Moushon said she has students look up the definitions for pride and respect in their new dictionaries, and helps the students realize they’re in charge of their grades.
“We help them understand they are the ones that choose to study one more time before they fall asleep, they are the ones that on the bus in the morning practice their spelling words one more time,” she said.
The project is in its sixth year.