Photo courtesy of Ken Weiss

Rotary Clubs Donate Dictionaries to Montgomery County Students

Dictionaries are a hit among students in Montgomery County.

The Rotary Clubs of Gaithersburg, Montgomery Village and Rockville are donating more than 4,000 dictionaries to students in public schools in Gaithersburg, Rockville, and Germantown.

Photo courtesy of Ken Weiss

Photo courtesy of Ken Weiss

The initiative is part of the Dictionary Project that started in 1992 among Rotary Clubs from all over the country. Since 2004, Rotary Clubs in Montgomery County have donated more than 250,000 dictionaries to students from different parts of the county.

“We’ve been doing this for quite a few years. … [And] we have been very excited about it,” said Diana Swanson, president of the Gaithersburg Rotary Club.

Swanson said dictionaries are such an “excellent” first book adding that it contains input about U.S. government, Declaration of Independence, U.S. territories, and more.

Rotary Clubs are organizations of professional leaders that focus on leadership through community service.

Ken Weiss, public relations for the Rotary Club of Gaithersburg, wrote in an email to MyMCMedia that each year members of the organization ask third-grade teachers and some schools principals whether the program is still useful.

“The answer nearly always is ‘yes,'” Weiss wrote.

According to Weiss, the main purpose of the project is to give third graders a book of their own to take home, use, and share.

“As you know, many of our low-income students do not have computers at home and some have very few books. One student reportedly said there were no books in her house, so our dictionary was the first one,” Weiss wrote.

The donations are taking place during the months of October and November.

For more information, visit the project’s website here.


Aline Barros

About Aline Barros

Aline Barros is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at and on Twitter at @AlineBarros2.


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