Rotarians in the community . . .

Study aids provided for Putnam sixth-graders

Robert keely
Robert Keely delivers books at Hurricane Middle School.

Tine McComas

Students give Christina McComas a helping hand.


Glen Gibbs passes books to students at Poca Middle.

Casto Pemberton

Dianna Casto (left) and Marilyn Pemberton hand out books at George Washington Middle School.


Students check out their personal copies of the new books.

October 1, 2009

Putnam Rotarians have been touring the middle schools of the county distributing free reference books to sixth grade students.

They visited Hurricane Middle on Tuesday, Poca Middle on Wednesday, and George Washington Middle on Thursday, handing out a new thesaurus to nearly five hundred students.

Each student receive a new personal copy of Webster's New Basic Thesaurus, a dictionary of synonyms, and instructions from teachers and Rotarians on its use.

"Look up the word smart," Christina McComas told the groups. Students quickly found similar words -- sharp, keen, intelligent, quick-witted, perspicacious.

(The last entry had some youngsters talking about their perspicacious teachers and classmates.)

Putnam has participated in the reference book activity for three years through RI District 7550 and the national Dictionary Project.

The Dictionary Project traces its beginning to Savannah, Georgia, in 1992 when Annie Plummer gave 50 dictionaries to students in schools near her home.

The idea spread, and last year 2.4 million books were given through the project.

Putnam Rotary first joined the project in 2006 by giving dictionaries for the Literacy Volunteers and Adult Basic Education students at the Putnam Career & Technical Center in Eleanor.

The following year, Rotary had planned to give dictionaries to Putnam sixth-graders as an age-appropriate study aid. But schools had already anticipated the need and provided for it earlier.

As an alternative, the club offered thesauri, also provided through the national organization.

Participating in the thesaurus distribution this week were Dianna Casto, Glen Gibbs, Robert Keely, Christina McComas , and Marilyn Pemberton.

Books will be distributed at Winfield Middle School next week.

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