Elks Lodge donates dictionaries to 3rd grade students

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Area grade-schoolers have a new learning tool thanks to the donations of local businesses.

In an initiative to help students become better readers, writers and creative thinkers the Eau Claire Elks club handed out more than 1,000 dictionaries to third grade students in schools around the Chippewa Valley.

Dictionary is a tough word to spell for your average third grader, but it’s a book that teachers say can serve as a building block for reading, writing and spelling

“They get to learn alphabetical order and all of that good stuff,” Putnam Heights Elementary school teacher Jamie Hoffman said.

For Elks Lodge member George Myers, every fall means a new set of dictionaries and a fresh set of smiling faces to give them to.

“I get more excited than they do really because just to see the happiness on their face they are all thankful,” Myers said.

But in a day and age when iPads and computers are all around us, Meyers says the dictionary still serves a purpose.

“I hear it all the time, the kids with the iPads don't need them anymore but they can’t look up a word if they don't have any idea how to spell it even on an iPad,” Myers said.

It’s the 524 pages of the dictionary that teachers say brings a smile and a great learning experience for years to come.

“Often times they have free time and they like to pull out their dictionaries out of their desk during free choice time,” Hoffman said.

It’s that excitement that the Elks club hopes drive kids to move forward learning new things every day

“We've had people tell us that have gotten them years ago that they still use it in high school and that’s what drives us, to give back to people is what it’s all about,” Myers said.

The Elks Lodge says they'll drop off books to about a dozen more schools this week.

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