Alhambra/San Gabriel Valley and Duarte Elks Clubs Present Free Dictionaries to MVSD Third Graders
Every third grade student in the Mountain View School District was presented with a free dictionary thanks to the Alhambra/San Gabriel Elks Club and the Duarte Elks Club, who distributed over 700 dictionaries to the third graders at all the district’s 10 elementary schools.
The two local Elks clubs gave away over 4,000 dictionaries to San Gabriel Valley third graders this year as part of The Dictionary Project. Since its implementation, The Dictionary Project has put over 21 million dictionaries in the hands of students world-wide. The goal of the program is to assist all students in becoming good writers, active readers, creative thinkers, and resourceful learners by providing them with their own personal dictionary. The dictionaries were personalized with the student’s name and are a gift to use at school and at home for years to come.
Making the special delivery to the very happy third graders were John McEntire, District Association State Vice President, Donna McEntire and Diane Stingle from the Duarte Elks Lodge and Rita Rodriguez, Exalted Ruler of the Alhambra San Gabriel Elks Lodge as well as Elroy the very popular Elk puppet. Stingle is a former Parkview student who attended third grade at the school when it first opened. She was happy to be back at Parkview and present the dictionaries to the students.
“We are in our eighth year of providing dictionaries to the students in the Mountain View School District,” said Donna McEntire, Elks Club member and retired MVSD teacher. “The Elks are an organization that helps people. We support our veterans, help communities and offer scholarships for college. Some of our favorite projects are working with youth,” she said. “The Elks value education and we are very happy to give back to our community and support students with their educational endeavors.”
Each student was very excited to receive the dictionary, which is packed full of resources and will serve as a great learning tool.
“This dictionary is a wonderful resource book full of information to help you learn,” said McEntire. “It has 35,000 words in it as well as a resource section with information on our 50 states, maps of continents and countries, a list of all our presidents, a multiplication table, information on the planets and solar system, the periodic table of elements and it even shows you how to do sign language,” she added as the students cheered with excitement. “We want you to be lifelong learners and use this dictionary year after year to keep learning.”
McEntire shared that by using the dictionary students can improve their vocabulary and find powerful words, learn definitions, and the parts of speech.
“Six of the largest words in the English language are in this dictionary,” she said. “There are words with 48 letters in them and the longest word takes up an entire page and has 1,909 letters. Let’s hope that word is never on your spelling test.”
Along with the students, the teachers and administrators were thrilled with the generous donation and know the dictionaries will make a great impact and be an essential tool for the students.
“The Elks Club is a terrific organization that provides a lot of support to schools and communities,” said Maureen O’Hearn, Parkview’s Dean of Instruction. “We are fortunate to have a partnership with them and the dictionaries are a true gift for our students and an example of the continued kindness and generosity the Elks show to our students.”
Laura Gaber, a teacher at Miramonte School appreciates the Elks Club for always supporting MVSD’s students with the free dictionaries, as well as opportunities to participate in essay contests and poster contests throughout the year.
“The students are always excited to get their dictionaries and they will be a great help in the classroom and at home as they complete their assignments,” said Gaber.
Miranda, a 3rd grader at Parkview School was happy to get her very own dictionary.
“I have a dictionary at home but it’s my dad’s so it will be good to have one for myself,” she said. “I will use it a lot. It was so nice of the Elks Club to give them to us.”
Johnny, also a Parkview 3rd grader, said it was the second biggest book he’s ever seen. The biggest being the Chronicles of Narnia.
“I like that there are so many things in this dictionary,” he said. “It will be great to learn new words and I can’t wait to look at that really long word that has 1,000 letters.”
According to McEntire third grade is the perfect grade level for dictionaries because it is the grade in which dictionary skills are taught in most schools. Additionally, third grade represents a critical juncture in a child's education - it is the year a student makes the transition from learning to read to reading to learn.
“We are so thankful to the Elks for their continued outpouring of support for our students and families,” said Lillian Maldonado French, MVSD Superintendent. “The gift of these dictionaries continues to make a profound impact on our students, helping them in their quest for knowledge and providing an essential tool for their academic achievement. We sincerely appreciate the Elks for their tremendous partnership and kindness.”