Third grade students in Belmont County have all been receiving a new dictionary of their own, compliments of the Rotary Club of St. Clairsville. It’s a project that’s been going on every year since 2004.

Each year, the local rotary club purchases and distributes about 2,000 new dictionaries to every third grader in the county – whether those students attend public schools, private schools or Catholic schools, and even if they are home schooled.

The project has been a great success, and has been putting smiles on faces of young elementary school students for nine years now. In fact, the first class of students who received dictionaries as third graders when the project first began are now seniors in high school. So nearly all students in Belmont County in third grade and above likely own a dictionary provided by the Rotary club.

Rotarians said they enjoy interacting with the students during the distribution of the dictionaries each year. This year’s distribution continued this past week in some of the local public schools. Teachers and parents have also expressed their appreciation, too.

Unlike many of the books owned by third graders, a dictionary is not only useful to them now, but will be useful to them in the future well into their adulthood. Rotary club members have said they hoped the addition of a dictionary to these young students’ bookshelves helps them initiate the lifelong effort of building their own personal libraries at home.

The dictionary distribution is just one of many projects done by one of many local service organizations, but its impact is wide reaching and significant.

We salute the Rotary Club of St. Clairsville for its continued effort to put a new dictionary in the hands of every third grade student in Belmont County every year. It’s a simple project that plants promising seeds of knowledge and certainly passes Rotary’s Four-Way Test, which asks “Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? And will it be beneficial to all concerned?

For service organizations, that’s how you spell success.