More than 400 third-grade students throughout the Rock Island-Milan School District #41 received a paperback dictionary on Tuesday, Oct. 3, courtesy of the Rock Island Elks Lodge #980 Ladies Auxiliary.
The civic organization has donated dictionaries to all RIMSD#41 third-grade students for the past 11 years, donating an estimated 6,000 dictionaries over the years. Members of the Elk Lodge spent the morning delivering over 400 dictionaries to elementary schools throughout the district, ensuring that each one of the third-graders currently enrolled with the district received a dictionary. The club also donated extra dictionaries to be distributed among teachers and any potential new students.
“Some of the students don’t have always have access to the internet, so the dictionary is a hands-on resource they can use any time,” said Dave Jurmu, member of the Elks Lodge #980. “I’ve had students come up to me years later and talk about how much they have used the dictionary we gave them. They even call me the ‘dictionary guy’.”
In addition to delivering the books, the Elks members also gave brief presentations explaining how to use the dictionaries and talking with the third-graders about what a member of the Elk Lodge does for the community. They even told the students “if you don’t know what an elk is, look it up.”
“Even in an age where we use a lot of technology – it’s amazing to see how excited the students are to receive their very own personal dictionary,” said Superintendent Dr. Oberhaus. “It’s humbling to see the community come together to support the students, and we very much appreciate all the time and effort that the Rock Island Elks club has provided our student in RIMSD #41 throughout the years.”