The GFWC Lilburn Woman's Club (LWC) Education Committee challenged themselves and the community to meet the goal of providing every third grader attending a Lilburn public elementary school with an age-appropriate dictionary. Why third grade? Professional educators have determined that third grade is when children begin transitioning from 'learning to read' to 'reading to learn.'
After confirming that there were 1415 third graders enrolled in Lilburn public schools this year, the committee began reaching out to other organizations in search of partners to cover the cost of the books and were met with resounding support in a very short period of time. Members of the LWC presented the concept to several other community-based organizations including the Lilburn Business Association, Lilburn Lions Club, Evergreen Senior Club and Sweetwater Masonic Lodge #421 who each agreed whole-heartedly to sponsor a different school. Individual LWC club members also made personal donations to support the project.
When the CEO of The Dictionary Project, Mary French, learned of the LWC community challenge, she agreed to show their support by donating dozens of cases of books to help achieve their goal. The dictionaries are child-friendly, with more than 35,000 entries, parts of speech, punctuation, and pronunciation with dictionary guides. They also include a 150-page reference section containing information about the solar system, international flags, U.S. presidents, The Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, sign language instructions, Braille and much more.
The Dictionary Project founded in 1995 is a charitable organization headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina whose goal was to provide a personal copy of a dictionary to every third-grade students in the South Carolina school system. It has now grown into a national organization. The joy on the faces of so many children receiving their own personal dictionary has been the total delight of everyone involved. The GFWC Lilburn Woman's Club has voted this in as our Community Improvement Project for this year and hopes to continue the tradition for many years to come.