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Students full of words after dictionary donation

Friday 11 June 2021 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Education, National

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Students full of words after dictionary donation
The Rotary Club of Rarotonga members donated hundreds of the Usborne Illustrated English Dictionary to the Ministry of Education for the Year 9 and 10 students of the Cook Islands. 21060909.

Each Year 9 and 10 student – close to 600 – in the schools around the Cook Islands, will receive a colourful Usborne Illustrated English Dictionary to keep, courtesy of the Rotary Club of Rarotonga.

The Rotary Club of Rarotonga has done the extra touch of having the name of the students printed in each dictionary it has donated to the Education ministry.

In thanking Rotary for the kind donation, Ministry of Education’s primary literacy adviser Liz Lawson said: “This is wonderful, Rotary does a great job every year.”

“It’s a lovely colourful illustrated book and the children get to keep the books.”

Lawson says the books will greatly help students build their vocabulary, literacy, knowledge of words and meanings of words, adding with pictures, it’s much easier to identify what things are. It also helps pronounce “what kind of word class it is”.

Each year for the past 12 years, Rotary has gifted to every Year 9 student in the Cook Islands their personal copy of the Usborne Illustrated English Dictionary.

Rotary director Jaewynn McKay said: “As we were not in a position to hand over the dictionaries last year due to the pandemic, this year both Year 9 and Year 10 (last year’s Year 9s) – close to 600 students – are being given the dictionaries.”

The Rotary Dictionary Project started in 2008 as a joint venture between the Bill and Lorna Boyd Trust and the Rotary Club of Pakuranga. It has spread throughout New Zealand and the Pacific with the majority of clubs participating.

The student’s treasure is receiving their own copy of the dictionary and an added literacy benefit is that the whole family gains, as the dictionaries are taken home, said McKay.

Literacy is an important aspect of education and Rotary has a commitment to helping literacy worldwide, added Rotarian Stephen Lyon. It’s an international project which Rotary Club Rarotonga delivers to the Cook Islands, Lyon said.

The dictionary contains over 10,000 entries and over a thousand full-colour illustration.