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Linda Mah
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Kiwanis Provides 10 Years of Dictionaries

Each KPS Third Grader Receives a Dictionary

For the 10th year, The Kiwanis Club of Kalamazoo donated 1,200 new dictionaries to every third grader in Kalamazoo Public Schools.

“A dictionary is perhaps the first and most powerful reference tool a child should own,” said Neil Sikora, chairman of the Dictionary Project for the Kiwanis Club of Kalamazoo. “Its usefulness goes beyond the spellings, pronunciations, and definitions it lists. It is a companion for solving problems that arise as a child develops his or her reading, writing, and creative thinking abilities.”

Sikora and fellow Kiwanis member Tom Richardson delivered dictionaries to Kairi Hokenmaier’s third-grade class at Greenwood Elementary in November. After handing out the books, the men stayed to show the students some of the dictionary’s features, such as the list of presidents and the longest English word.

The Dictionary Project began when the club was trying to decide on a project “to help kids be successful,” Sikora said. “Students benefit from an increased self-reliance and resourcefulness inspired by the maxim ‘look it up.’ Teachers benefit by knowing that their students have consistent access to a tool for homework and in-class exploration.”

He added, “Children deserve the best teachers and resources. If we set our sights on anything less, we will be disappointed in the results.”
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