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Bigger type, lots more pictures

Scott N. Miller
Austin Richardson/Vail Daily Third-grader Luis Loya peruses his new dictionary Monday morning at Meadow Mountain Elementary School. The local Rotary Club handed out dictionaries to local schoolchildren to promote literacy.
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EAGLE-VAIL – It was the kind of reception kids usually reserve for noisy toys.Monday, a classroom of third graders at Meadow Mountain Elementary School was positively giddy when members of the local Rotary Club brought in a shiny, new Scholastic Children’s Dictionary for every student. The kids eagerly looked up words, found the world map and identified different countries, then looked up Colorado’s official state nickname – it’s “The Centennial State.””They’re awesome,” student Jasper Stone said.OK, Christmas is coming, and most kids will get stirred up when any sort of gift comes before the Big Day, but Rotary members Bob Moroney, Dave Blackwell and Dan Gibbs brought a box of presents kids will use.”They’re a little anxious about what to do with them at first,” teacher Amy Ryerson said. “Then they settle in and you see them using the books, and using the skills they’re learning.”At least a few kids seem to have at least a rough idea of a dictionary’s value.

“It will be good for doing homework,” Thannya Beltran said. This is the sixth year local Rotary clubs have given dictionaries to third graders in both public and private schools in the valley. To date, more than 2,500 dictionaries have been given out.And, for many youngsters, putting a kid-specific dictionary in the house is something new. Dictionaries in most homes come from a parent’s high school or college days, and are hard for kids to use. “In adult dictionaries the print is so small they’re hard to use,” Ryerson said. “This one has bigger type, word guides and pictures. And they get better every year.”The gift of dictionaries is more than just a nice gesture. It’s also a way to, perhaps, plant a few seeds.”We’d like you to think about what you can give,” Moroney said. “Think about how you can be of service or help others.”Several hands shot up when Moroney asked the students how they thought they could be more helpful, both at school and at home.”Help people with their spelling,” said one.

“Do our homework,” said another.But Stone had already started thinking about using his dictionary to help around the house.”I can let my brother (in kindergarten) borrow it if he wants to spell a word,” Stone said.Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14624, or smiller@vaildaily.com.Vail Daily, Vail Colorado


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