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Elks hands out dictionaries  to Greenfield third-graders

Recorder/Paul Franz
Robert Mott of the Greenfield Elks gives dictionaries to al the 3rd grade students in the Greenfield School District. Here he helps Andy Bostrom look up a word in his new dictionary at the Four Corners in Greenfield on Monday.

Recorder/Paul Franz Robert Mott of the Greenfield Elks gives dictionaries to al the 3rd grade students in the Greenfield School District. Here he helps Andy Bostrom look up a word in his new dictionary at the Four Corners in Greenfield on Monday.

GREENFIELD — Coming off its 100th anniversary just one month ago, the Greenfield Lodge of Elks is giving out 163 free dictionaries to third-graders across the district.

It is the ninth straight year that the Elks have donated the dictionaries locally, part of a nationwide project “to inspire a love of learning,” said Robert Mott, who heads up the project for the local service organization.

“It’s a perfect age when children are starting to put words in sentences,” he said. “They’re eager for words.”

Mott stopped at the Discovery School at Four Corners to talk with students about the Elks’ history and to hand them all their own dictionary.

“I can find words easier,” said an excited 9-year-old Kaitlin Lavoine, as she held her dictionary.

Principal Donna Gleason said it was empowering for children to have their own dictionary, because “language is the key to everything we do.”

Mott said that even in a digital world, the dictionary project is still important to continue.

“They have computers, so they can look the word up and find the definition. But it’s much more real when they can see it,” said Mott.

“Today, the kids have so many ... distractions that they don’t really have the time (to read),” he said. But now, “they will have the opportunity at a young age to be able to take that dictionary and really find out what the word (means).”

Since 2002, the national organization has given out over 2 million dictionaries, said Mott. Each one costs about $1.50, he said.

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