Posted on Jan 17, 2019
A book, such as a Thesaurus or Dictionary is a gift that can be opened again and again. It teaches the wonders of vocabulary and builds good writing and communication skills in our children. The Rotary Club of Cortlandt Manor annually distributes Thesaurus' and Dictionaries to 3rd and 5th graders in their area.
Between 40 and 44 million adults, or roughly 20 to 23% of adults in the U.S., are limited to reading at the basic or below basic proficiency levels. And it begins in childhood
Last year Cortlandt Manor Rotary’s Literacy Program gave out 417 Dictionaries and 455 Thesaurus’ to 6 public and 1 private school in the Lakeland and Hen Hud school districts. This program was funded by the local communities attendance at our annual Touch A Truck and Breakfast With Santa fund raising events.
One morning, in one of the local schools, CMR's Literacy program was under way, distributing Dictionaries to 3rd graders and Thesaurus to 5th graders. It was our third year of the program, and the fifth graders had all been distributed their Thesaurus’. Out of no where, a fifth grader reached into his back pack and pulled out his Dictionary from third grade. It was tattered, torn, and taped, and looked like it was used every day he had it.
Our Rotary had added something special to the education of this young 5th grader. Showing, CMR can give back to the community through literacy, this Dictionary had become an important gift to him. It is a time, when a battery for your electronics can dictate your child’s habits. Here the written word from a book, without any on switch, was being used. The student was proud to own it as his very own. He was able to write his name onto the first page. Permanent book ownership being a rarity in our schools.
Rotary had made a small difference in this youth. This encounter will forever live in the annals of our CMR Literacy program.
For me, it will always be remembered as “My Rotary Moment”. What is a rotary moment? Its when your years of devoted service meet the reason you joined Rotary. Suddenly a simple event, explodes into a kaleidoscope of good feelings and the revelation that you helped. You feel an integral part in the development of that moment. Your heart, mind and sole, achieve a new rewarding level of emotion.
Rotary Moments can come unexpectedly. You can not anticipate the feeling. Nor can it be falsely created. For only you are the one who can experience that moment.
Feel this joy at The Rotary Club of Cortlandt Manor. We meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month at the Cortlandt Colonial at 6:30PM to plan and execute our community projects. Get involved. Contact us at 914 246-0135 for more info. You can also like us on Facebook @ Rotary Club of Cortlandt Manor.
Gladys, a former CMR President describes what the students at Van Cortlandville are about to receive
Student displays her dictionary with Rita and 
educators atVan Cortlandville.