St Joseph's School 4 year students receiving their new 2017 dictionaries.

Each year our members join with other clubs to contact a share of South Canterbury schools to find out how many dictionaries need to be ordered for Year 4 students.  Later when the dictionaries arrive, they gather accurate lists of recipients and write a student's name in each copy to personalise it.  Members then visit the schools and make presentations.  Claire Haines currently leads this project.

Great benefit to teaching and learning

'Dictionaries for Schools’ started in 2010 when dictionaries were distributed to Year 4 Students throughout all South Canterbury primary schools.

All 5 Rotary clubs: Temuka-Geraldine; Timaru North; Timaru South; Timaru; and Waimate started this as a joint South Canterbury Rotary project.

In 2009 a study was completed to see if dictionaries given to year 4 pupils would aid literacy for both girls and boys. It showed that literacy had increased where dictionaries were provided in the UK.

District Governor (2009-10), Lionel Wilson said he “had this information and decided to approach the incoming South Canterbury Rotary Presidents”. They all said they would support such project if he could secure funding for the dictionaries. Lionel approached the Community Trust and obtained funding for 5 years.

Canvassed after 5 years, schools stated dictionaries were benefiting teaching and learning and they wished to continue. Asked if a digital option was better, they said the book form was preferred.

Lionel is very pleased with the great success saying "Every year since, our clubs distribute over 700 dictionaries to 37 schools, ranging from 1-2 for Mt Cook School to over 160 for Bluestone School.".

The Bill and Lorna Boyd Trust now provides $10.00 for each dictionary.