Each year, ALL third graders in the Rock Island-Milan School District look forward to the day when they will receive their very own dictionary - courtesy of the Rock Island Elks Lodge 980 Ladies Auxiliary.
The Elks Ladies Auxiliary purchase about 500 dictionaries each year for RIMSD #41 third graders and have been doing so for over 10 years. Elks Ladies Auxiliary member Rae Marie Jurmu and her husband Dave have spearheaded the project from the beginning. "We feel that literacy is very important and a dictionary is an essential tool for students to have at home," said Rae Marie. "It's also fun to see their faces when we hand them out. They really do get excited about them."
The dictionaries are well known in the elementary buildings and many third grade students have an older brother or sister who received a dictionary from the Elks when they were in third grade.
"Not only is it a great tradition," said Frances Willard Principal Lance Clark. "It's also supporting our teaching and learning in the classroom."
Becky DeJonghe's third grade class at Frances Willard with their new dictionaries.
Cindy Arkebauer's class at Eugene Field with their new dictionaries!