A special message from Debbie Pipes:
An apppreciating community thrives when it sends a clear message of civic honor.
Would you like a chance for your voice to be heard and your values to be felt right here in our own community? Believe it or not, being a part of giving dictionaries to Brazos County third graders can help you accomplish just that! You see, this book contains not only a comprehensive list of 32,000 words but also includes a gazetteer that is packed with a whopping 150 plus pages of supplemental information.
The Dictionary Project’s text is more than a dictionary.
Some of the material included in the gazetteer is critical to understanding our nation’s heritage yet is often not emphasized in today’s school curriculums—material like:
- The Declaration of Independence,
- the U.S. Constitution,
- history of the U.S. Flag,
- and mini-biographies of each of our presidents.
The gazetteer also includes information/statistics on:
- all 50 states and
- all the countries of the world,
- maps of the states and continents,
- facts about the planets in our solar system,
- weights and measures,
- times tables,
- the Periodic Table of Elements,
- American Sign Language and
- Braille Alphabets,
- Roman Numerals
- and more.
The community via supporters, volunteers, and recognized leaders exhibit the significance of what determines civic honor by educational modelling: exhibiting the same values we ask of our children.
To reinforce the significance of the gift, we invite elected officials like Congressman Bill Flores, District Attorney Jarvis Parsons, and Mayor Jason Bienski to come into the classrooms with us to personally hand each student his or her very own dictionary.
What IS the Dictionary Project?
In case it is new to you, Dictionary Project is a nationwide organization founded in 1992 that is responsible for the distribution of well over eighteen million dictionaries to third graders, almost two and a half million last year alone.
Why third graders you might ask?
For two reasons:
- first, third grade is when dictionary skills instruction typically begins, and
- second – and more importantly, third grade is when the education focus shifts from learning to read, to reading to learn.
Through the Dictionary Project, this community sends a clear message to every third grader as well as to his/her family: “We fully support learning to read AND reading to learn.”
Last year a group of seven former educators banded together to bring the Dictionary Project to Brazos County. We approached both College Station and Bryan ISDs with this project. Bryan said yes, but College Station could not participate due to rules against accepting gifts with partisan ties.
Over 1300 dictionaries were distributed to Bryan ISD students and their teachers last year; another 200 went to private and Christian schools along with Brazos Valley home school students who were participating in a spelling bee.
This year we are back by popular demand and are on track with the same numbers and schools.
- Bryan ISD’s distribution is scheduled for October 16th and 17th.
In a survey conducted in the spring, teachers reported (just as we hoped they would) that they were using the books in various subjects including math, science and social studies.
One teacher said her students would remind her, “That’s in our dictionary!” when they touched on a subject it covered; then they would get them out and use them as a reference. When I read this one, I did a happy dance!
Bryan ISD Communications Director Brandon Webb said, “This may well be the first book some of these students have ever owned.”
Bryan ISD students seemed genuinely thrilled to receive these books.
One child reported in a thank you letter that he let his mother and sister use his dictionary when he took it home. Several said they were learning the sign language alphabet. Another said he “loved learning about the American Flag and the planets.” Yet another said he was “learning the names of the presidents.”
Won’t you join us in making Dictionary Project possible for Brazos County third graders this year?
- With a donation of sixty-five dollars you can sponsor an entire Bryan ISD classroom or several private classrooms.
- If you would like to donate 500 dollars or more, your name or the name of your business will be listed individually on each dictionary’s bookplate.
- All other donors will be listed as “Your Republican Friends and B/CS Neighbors.”
Contributions of any amount are welcome of course!
Send your contribution to:
1640 Briarcrest Dr., Ste. 122,
Bryan, TX 77802
* If you would like your gift to be tax deductible, please make your check payable to Dictionary Project with the notation on the MEMO or FOR line, “Bryan ISD TX.”
This umbrella organization has 501(c) 3 status.
However if you do not need a tax deduction, please make your check payable to our Political Action Committee, Republican Friends instead.
It was so wonderful to hear principals introduce us in the classrooms last year as “our Republican Friends” that we decided to give the moniker to our PAC.
We hope to again include all Brazos County Republican officials in the distribution this year—Congressman Bill Flores has already agreed to kick the presentations off. Won’t you join us in reaching out to Brazos County third graders and their families with a gift that has the potential to open young hearts and minds to the POWER of WORDS?
Yours for sparking a desire to learn in every child’s heart,
Chair, Republican Friends
P.S. ALL Contributions may be mailed to Republican Friends, 1640 Briarcrest Dr., Ste. 122, Bryan, TX 77802.