Grange gives dictionaries to island third-graders
On Nov. 8, 2006, Fran Mackabee, Victor and Charlotte Richardson, on behalf of all of the members of Conanicut Grange #21, Patrons of Husbandry enjoyed their third annual visit with the more than 50 children enrolled in grade 3 at Jamestown's Melrose Avenue School. The purpose of the visit was to present every third-grader with a personal student dictionary as part of the National Grange Program "Words for the Thirds."
The children listened intently, to the story of the "Dictionary Project," which originated in South Carolina, where its founder Mary French, more than 10 years ago was successful in distributing the first 6,000 dictionaries to third-graders in the county where she lived. Now she distributes thousands per year. The program quickly spread nationwide and is supported by Grangers across the nation, and by many other community
service organizations. The number of dictionaries given to the third-graders has swelled to millions and as more and more organizations sign on each year to help with this very rewarding and worthwhile effort, they are coming closer and closer to the ultimate goal of providing every third-grader in the nation with a dictionary of his or her own.
After looking up the meaning of Patrons, Husbandry, and Grange and reading them aloud, the children were invited to choose any three words they wanted, and then write a story, poem, or letter using the selected three words. The letters will be sent to Conanicut Grange #21 to be cherished by all of us, and will also be added to those collected during prior years in a binder entitled "Words From The Thirds." The grange members plan to continue the tradition with a visit in 2007.