Third-graders at Oakman Elementary School show off their new dictionaries given to them by the Dearborn Outer Drive Kiwanis.
Dearborn Outer Drive Kiwanis recently completed its fourth annual Dictionary Project, in which the club provides third-grade students in Dearborn schools a personal dictionary to keep as a reference. This year, the club gave dictionaries to more than 1,600 in 27 schools.
Since 1983, more than 10 million Americans reached the 12th grade without having learned to read at a basic level.
“In the same period, more than 6 million Americans dropped out of high school altogether,” project chairman Dr. Jim Rugenski said. “The main focus of Kiwanis is on children. We want to help young people succeed in school and in life, and we know that third grade is a crucial time for students to learn to read effectively.”
Rugenski said project sponsors — including Village Ford, Member Focus Credit Union and PTSAs from some of the schools — believe that giving children dictionaries is like giving them sets of keys — tools that will unlock all the information there is to be gained from reading.
The main funds for this project come from the Kiwanis Turtle Derby at Dearborn Homecoming, Aug. 5 to 7 this year. To participate in the Turtle Derby, call Rugenski at (313) 581-2576.