“A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged; it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the time in which it is used,” Oliver Wendell Holmes, one of the Supreme Court’s great stylists, wrote. The Rotary Club of Flagler County is helping children understand the idea.
The club delivered 1,008 dictionaries to seven schools as part of a national program that gives dictionaries to students free for their use. The program has just restarted this year after being on hold due to the pandemic in 2020 and 2021.
The Rotarians delivered the dictionaries this year to Bunnell, Old Kings, Belle Terre, Rymfire, and Wadsworth Elementary schools as well as Imagine School at Town center. In the past 14 years the Rotary Club has provided 10,997 dictionaries to elementary school students in the county.
“It’s a great program,” Rotarian Ken Neu said. Neu coordinated the project for the rotary club. “Not everyone has a dictionary at home for students or easy access to the internet. This program gives them their own personal dictionary to use for their school work.” The books are paid for with donations from the Rotary Club and others.
The idea for The Dictionary Project (www.dictionaryproject.org) began in 1992 when Annie Plummer of Savannah, Georgia, gave 50 dictionaries to children who attended a school close to her home. Each year she continued to give this gift, raising money to help give more and more books so that in her lifetime she raised enough money to buy 17,000 dictionaries for children in Savannah. It grew into a national project and formed a not-for profit corporation in 1995. This is the 14th year the Rotary Club of Flagler County has participated in the project.
The endeavor got its start in Flagler County when a club member read an article about the Dictionary Project in the Rotarian, the monthly member magazine published by Rotary International.