Rotaries give dictionaries to Danville 3rd-graders

6 local clubs band to provide books to students across San Ramon Valley

Third-graders in Danville and across the San Ramon Valley Unified School District are set to receive nearly 2,500 printed dictionaries this fall from the six local Rotary clubs.

This marks the 16th consecutive year that the Danville, Danville/Sycamore Valley, Alamo, Dougherty Valley/San Ramon, San Ramon and San Ramon Valley rotary clubs have joined forces to provide dictionaries to every third-grade student in the district.

The Rotarians hope the books will help the young students "develop into lifelong readers," Danville Rotary Club Kathy Chiverton said Thursday.

"Educators say that up until the third grade, children are learning how to read. After that, they're reading to learn," she added.

Rotary members are in the process of distributing the books to all third-grade classrooms in the SRVUSD's 21 elementary schools. The Danville club made deliveries to Green Valley, Montair, Sycamore Valley and Vista Grande elementary schools during the past week, Chiverton said.

The cost of the dictionaries is shared among the six clubs.

"This is a great way for all six clubs in our community to unite on the common purpose of supporting literacy in our schools," said Barry Toby, president of the Rotary Club of San Ramon. "Rotary's presence is very strong in the San Ramon Valley, and this is another example of that."

The local effort dates back to the 1997-98 school year, when then-District Governor George E. Chaffrey started the program.


Like this comment
Posted by Lisa
a resident of Danville
on Nov 14, 2013 at 5:51 pm

While this is a lovely gesture, I can tell you that 1. kids don't use book dictionaries any more (they do almost all of their research online) and 2. my kids brought these dictionaries home when they were in elementary school and they sat on a shelf until I eventually donated them (never opened, never used, despite my urging). Sadly, I fear your money may be getting wasted here. Please talk to the teachers and find out what they really need so your generous intent is not wasted.

Like this comment
Posted by Kimberly
a resident of Danville
on Nov 15, 2013 at 8:39 am

Totally agree with Lisa. Also, I know the rotary clubs probably want to keep their donation within the community, but many of the Danville schools have sister schools in lower socio-economic areas nearby (ex. Title One schools in Antioch, Baypoint, etc.) - perhaps they could have a joint school textbook / dictionary (?) / school supply fundraiser or donation campaign to benefit both Danville and their sister schools?

Like this comment
Posted by Nan
a resident of Danville
on Nov 15, 2013 at 8:45 am

Yes, so true. Elementary teachers don't have their students refer to hardcopy dictionaries much in class, if at all - even back more than 10 years ago when my kids were in elementary school and regular computer use was still rather new for students. It was in high school, with all the essay writing, that I remember constantly using one; even so, I knew from the elementary level how to navigate the resource. I've worked with even upper elementary kids who still have to stop and think about the order of the alphabet and the sequencing of letters in words before using a dictionary.

Although I have a family of wordsmiths, I admit that my three sets have hardly ever been cracked open at home during the elementary years either. WIth online dictionaries and spell check, the printed versions are a sad relic. Additionally, wIth the many rich and wonderful words we have in our English language, it's a shame that people tend to use the newer coined words/phrases or stick to the more well known ones nowadays and not venture into expression.

Regardless of their level of awareness of the use of printed dictionaries, I still appreciate the Rotarians efforts to keep print alive. There are some folks out there who value and use these books. Maybe they should take orders and see who really wants them rather than a massive distribution.

Like this comment
Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 15, 2013 at 9:53 am

WOW...I totally agree with Lisa, Kimberly and Nan...

The Rotary should have done their homework before doing what they did.

Great gesture but wasted money.

Thanks for Listening...Julia Pardini from Alamo

Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 15, 2013 at 10:53 am

A wonderful thought, but to paraphrase the other comments: Really? Really? Rotary - you are truly kind-hearted but what century do you reside in? A little like giving quills and ink.....:>)

Like this comment
Posted by thankful teacher
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 19, 2013 at 9:17 pm

The wonderful Rotary gave dictionaries to my third graders. The kids were thrilled! The dictionaries also have lots of interesting information at the end of the book. The students wanted to take the dictionaries home to show their parents right away, but they weren't allowed to do that until they wrote thank you letters to the Rotary. My classroom does not have enough computers for each student to use one. We DO use dictionaries! Some of the kids even took the dictionaries out to read at recess!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

GE's re-organization reaches San Ramon digital headquarters
By Tim Hunt | 3 comments | 1,882 views

Sound and Fury over Vile and Slur-ry
By Tom Cushing | 72 comments | 1,127 views

Jazz and Abstraction
By John A. Barry and Bill Carmel | 0 comments | 185 views