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Third Graders Receive Dictionaries

The Salinas Alisal Rotary Club was founded with the main purpose of helping education in the area, their founders have said. And from its founding nine years ago, the club members have taken on The Dictionary Project for all the schools of the Alisal Union School District.

This week, the Alisal Rotarians continue with their tradition as they begin delivering 1,300 dictionaries to all third graders in our 12 schools. On Monday, dictionaries were delivered to Cesar E. Chavez, Oscar Loya, Monte Bella and Bardin elementary schools. On Tuesday, the delivery will continue at Sanchez, MLK, Fremont and Alisal Community elementary schools, and on Thursday the project concludes with the delivery to Frank Paul, VRB, Steinbeck and Creekside.

Ralph Martinez delivering dictionaries

The dictionaries are given to the third graders “so they can always have a good source of information,” Ralph Martinez, president of the Rotary Club, told third graders at Loya Elementary. It doesn’t need batteries, and it can work even if WIFI is down, he added.

Alisal Rotary Club members also explained to the students how Rotary works, and told them they’ve recently helped fund a drinking water project in Tanzania

"We try to give you guys some things so when you grow up you can do the same for other kids,” said George Anzo, Director of Maintenance, Transportation, and Safety at the Alisal Union School District. Anzo is also an active member of the Alisal Rotary Club and a former president.

The Dictionary Project is a charitable organization based in Charleston, South Carolina, and was founded in 1995 to provide personal copies of a dictionary for third grade students in the South Carolina public school system. It has grown into a national organization. To date, over 30 million dictionaries have been donated to children in the United States and internationally. It is funded through individual donations and by sponsors who implement the program in their local schools.

Irene Merrill delivering dictionaries

In Salinas, Alisal Rotary is the only club that delivers dictionaries to all the schools in a district.

“We gladly foot the bill for that,” said Irene Merrill, a former Alisal Rotary President. “We started with all the schools from the beginning, that’s how this Rotary club rolls.” 

Delivering dictionaries is but one of the many ways in which Salinas Alisal Rotary helps our schools, and we at the Alisal USD are grateful for their support.