Posted by Elizabeth LaPerle on Jan 06, 2020
Recently The Barre Rotary Club distributed atlases and dictionaries to five areas schools. 5264 Books have been given out over the years!
Community Involvement:
The Barre Rotary Club has been giving out dictionaries and atlases to the 3rd and 5th graders in Central Vermont for almost 20 years.
The Club has found this to be a rewarding community outreach program as it promotes literacy in our youth.  A special thanks to Joe Preddy and Elizabeth LaPerle as they have been working on this project for a very long time. It is what Rotarians do.
To read the history of this project please go all the way to the end of he pictures.
Barre City students looking over their new Dictionaries and Atlases.President Ed Rousse, Joe Shadroui, Elizabeth LaPerle, President Elect, John Steinman, Ray Bettis and Joe Preddy.
Joe & Elizabeth working hard with a heavy load.
Barre Town Elementary School below.
Websterville Baptist School below.
Washington Village School
Orange Center School
The Dictionary Project is a charitable organization based in Charleston, South CarolinaU.S.A., and was founded by Mary French 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 31 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.
The purpose of The Dictionary Project is to provide dictionaries to students to keep to use as their own personal reference books. The project believes that a dictionary is an essential tool for a quality education and that a student cannot do his or her best work without one. This organization seeks to provide dictionaries to all of the children who are in school. The program is typically implemented in the third grade each year.

The Dictionary Project and its Director Mary French have been awarded several notable honors, including:

  • Mayor Rybak of Minneapolis, Minnesota, declared March 20, 2009, Dictionary Day in honor of Mary French's work to create the Dictionary Project and their Rotary Clubs' sponsorship of the Minneapolis Public Schools (2009)
  • the NFL/Parade Magazine Community Quarterback Award (2003)
  • the Daughters of the American Revolution National Community Service Award (2003)
  • the American Red Cross, Carolina Lowcountry Chapter Neighborhood Hero (2002)
  • S. C. Secretary of State Angel List (2002)
  • the JC Penney Golden Rule Award (2000)
  • invitations to speak at conventions for Rotary International, the National Grange, and the TelecomPioneers.

In addition, sponsors who have implemented the project have been recognized:

  • Larry Hutchinson received a certificate of recognition from Chet Culver, the Governor of Iowa, for his work to coordinate the efforts of the civic organizations to give a dictionary to all of the third grade students in their state (2008)
In a nutshell, the club partnered with Tom Stevens, who was running the Dictionary Project in VT over 15 years ago.  He would order the books on our behalf and schedule distributions at the schools, and Rotarians would accompany him.  After five or six years, he stopped being involved, and The Barre Club took it over as a club, making direct contact with the Dictionary Project and the schools.  In 2011 the club received a Rotary District Simplified Grant to help us expand to include atlases for fifth graders in addition to dictionaries for third graders.  We received another DSG the following year.  After a while that particular grant program was no longer available.

At about the same time the club started partnering with Montpelier to split the cost of providing books at St. Monica’s, as St. Michael’s in Montpelier had merged with St. Monica’s in Barre.  The Barre Club would order the books for both communities, and split the costs.

At this point in time The Barre Rotary Club pays for all the books at all the local schools & spends about $1,500.00 each year for the books.

If you would like to contribute to the books please send a check marked "dictionary project" to The Barre Rotary Club at Box 167, Barre, VT 05641.