Members from the Langley Lions Club distributed 85 dictionaries to Grade 3 and Grade 4 students in Aldergrove on Friday.
Dozens of eager kids crowded into the Parkside Centennial Elementary School library on Friday at 1:30 p.m. awaiting the gift.
Club president Dorothea Frisse opened the boxes, revealing brand new dictionaries to students before she asked for a show of hands of those who have access to a smartphone.
After the majority of the elementary students raised their hands, Frisse encouraged them to rather than search the web, to take a look in a dictionary for answers.
“Is this like a library book?” a wide-eyed child responded to the president.
“Or can we take it home?” he asked excitedly.
Frisse replied, “it’s all yours.” The club is excited to foster ownership amongst students, especially from families with other siblings, she told the Aldergrove Star.
Soon, children lined up to get their own dictionary and gazetteer, complete with maps of the world, of Canada, and pictographs of planets in the solar system.
Preston, a self-professed “explorer” and Grade 3 student, was eager to use the book to look up new facts.
Once the kids had them in-hand, they sat down and began to delve through their pages.
“It’s great,” Lions member Donna Buckley beamed after handing out the books.
“We were looking at Saturn and the little maps,” she explained.
Other Lions, including Dave Buckley, Charles Erasmus, Denis Gander, and Craig Hoover took part in disseminating the dictionaries.
Shelley Hegedus, a Langley School District primary teacher, was there to greet the group as well.
“They love dictionaries at this age,” she said.
As the group left they witnessed a special education assistant in the hallway, quizzing a student on the geography included in the dictionary.
“They were having a conversation about the facts that were in there. The dictionary provides an access point into learning where normally there wouldn’t be one,” Hegedus said.
The Dictionary project celebrates 100 years of Lion-ism in Canada, Frisse explained.
“Literacy and children are a big part of our club’s mission,” she said.
Over the next week, a total of 305 dictionaries were handed out amongst five other Langley elementary schools – including Shortreed, Wix Brown, Nicomekl, Douglas Park, and Blacklock.
Langley’s Lions Club has been serving the community since 1944, according with its website.
The organization works to help meet the needs of Langley and its citizens.