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Observations from The Field of Dreams

Putnam County Superintendent Carl Carlson (from left), Rotarians Darrell Alleman, Ron McNeil, Adriane Shore and Karen Karczewski presented new dictionaries to PC third-grade students.
Putnam County Superintendent Carl Carlson (from left), Rotarians Darrell Alleman, Ron McNeil, Adriane Shore and Karen Karczewski presented new dictionaries to PC third-grade students.

The Putnam County Rotary Club has presented the Putnam County Elementary School’s third-grade students with dictionaries since 2005. When Putnam County Rotarian Adriane Shore asked the Rotary to buy dictionaries for Putnam County elementary students, the club was pleased to do that.

The first year in 2005, they gave dictionaries to the third, fourth and fifth grades. Since then, they have only given them out to the third-graders, so in total, the Rotary has given them to 14 classes.

This year four PC Rotarians met at the PC Elementary School in Hennepin to hand out dictionaries to this year’s third-grade class. Superintendent Carl Carlson was there also to speak.

Rotarian Karen Karczewski started the event by saying, “We are here today to bring each of you a special gift from the PC Rotary Club. Our club does a lot of things to help a lot of people, and today we want to give you each a dictionary to help you learn and grow. Reading and writing are very important skills for students and adults, and learning new words can be a lot of fun. Maybe you can learn one or two new words every day using your new dictionary.

“This will be yours to keep forever, to use at school and to take home with you, so your teacher will have you put your name on the Rotary sticker inside the front page of your dictionary,” she continued. “If you look at that sticker it has something else written on it. It’s a test, but not the kind you take in school. It is a four-way test that Rotary members use, and you can use too when you are making choices you have to make in school, at home, or anywhere. You will find these are very similar to the Character Counts ideas that you apply at school and at home.

“So when you are thinking about what you are going to say or do, think first about whether it’s the truth. We should always be truthful — with your friends, your teacher, your parents, and everyone else. Second, we should consider whether it’s fair. We should always play fair, and act fairly toward others. Third, we hope everything we do will build better friendships with those we see every day, and even with people we have just met. If we treat people right in return, as a result, we make new friends.

“Fourth, we ask if what we are about to do or what we are about to say will be beneficial to others. Some of you may already know what beneficial means,” she said. “It means that what we do or say should be helpful, like helping your teacher clean up after a project is beneficial to everyone in the classroom. If you want to learn more about the word beneficial, now you can look it up in your very own dictionary. We hope you’ll enjoy your gift from the Putnam County Rotary Club.”

PC Rotarians then handed out the dictionaries to the students. They were Ron McNeil, Adriane Shore, Karen Karczewski and Darrell Alleman. Carlson, also a PC Rotarian, had the three classes have a contest for who could discover the most words that he gave them to look up. It was very spirited by the third-graders.

The International Rotary Club’s goal is to reach every third-grade student in the United States. So far they have reached an estimated 1,075,952 students. Of these, 876 were sponsored by the Rotary Club of Granville.

Jeannie, my wife and second-grade teacher, loved giving these dictionaries out to the students. Adriane always included her and me. One other thing: Every year since we have handed these books out in the elementary school cafeteria, the two school cooks, Vickie Petersen and Jamie Seibert, are in the kitchen by the cafeteria, busy making dinner. I have always enjoyed the smell of fresh bread, and I realize the children are fortunate to have these two wonderful cooks cooking for them.

Darrell Alleman can be reached at news@putnamcountyrecord.com.

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