For the seventh year in a row, all third-grade students in the Anoka-Hennepin School District received a free dictionary. The local project is based on a national project designed to assist all students to become good writers, active readers and creative thinkers. It is funded locally by the Anoka-Hennepin Educational Foundation (AHEF), local Rotary clubs and Connexus Energy.
The week before the holiday break, Tess DeGeest, AHEF executive director, and Phil Knutson, a member of the Anoka Rotary Club, delivered books to Crooked Lake Elementary School.
When DeGeest asked how many of the students didn’t own their own dictionary, a lot of hands went up.
“Well you are going to get one today; it’s yours, you can do whatever you want to with it,” DeGeest said. “Please put your name in it because every third-grade student will receive one.”
Linda Smith, a third-grade teacher, said the dictionaries the students received are the best for third-grade students and providing each student their own dictionary really makes a difference.
Students were very excited about their gift. Students in Jill Wellman’s class said if they didn’t know the meaning of a word, now they can look it up in their own dictionary, they can look up spelling and pronunciations of words and the dictionary has interesting facts.
Knutson said about 3,000 dictionaries were distributed throughout the district. The Rotary clubs taking part in the project were from Anoka, Coon Rapids, Blaine, Ham Lake and Ramsey.