Smiles all round at the big dictionary handout
- Credit: Archant
The joy etched on the children's faces said it all.
With more than 900 illustrated dictionaries delivered for free to pupils at schools across Lowestoft this week, as part of a new project aimed at improving literacy levels, there were smiles aplenty as the youngsters received their own personalised copies.
As previously reported in The Journal, the three Lowestoft-based Rotary Clubs are working with local primary schools to improve literary skills.
With new figures suggesting that child literacy levels in the town are below the regional and national averages, this week Rotarians handed out the dictionaries in a series of presentations.
With sponsorship from Karpet Kingdom and Persimmon Homes, the Rotary Clubs bought the dictionaries, which retail at £14.99 each, and are suitable for children aged nine as part of the Dictionaries4Life project.
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And this week, children at Grove, Fen Park, St Margaret's, Westwood, Somerleyton, Corton, St Mary's, Northfield, Oulton Broad, Meadow, Carlton Colville, Woods Loke, Gunton, Pakefield, Roman Hill, Poplars, Dell, Blundeston, Kessingland and Elm Tree Primary Schools and the Ashley School Academy all received the Usborne Illustrated Dictionaries4Life.
At the presentations to the year three pupils this week, Rotary representatives said the project had been 'very well received' by staff at the 21 schools and the children themselves.
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Co-ordinator of the Lowestoft D4L project, Rotarian Paul Tabiner, told The Journal: 'The children were absolutely bowled over when they received the books. A large number of teaching staff who spoke to us as well all said that they intend to use the dictionaries throughout classes – so they won't just sit at home or in desks being unused.
'We are really heartened by it all,' Mr Tabiner added.
The three Rotary clubs will soon be evaluating this year's project, as they look ahead and plan for next year.
The scheme has been extended in recent years. After distributing more than 500 illustrated dictionaries to 14 primary schools in Lowestoft last year – as every year six pupil received a special dictionary to improve their literacy skills – this came after the effectiveness of the dictionaries were trialled in one Lowestoft primary school in 2011.
And with 21 Lowestoft primary schools receiving the dictionaries this week, it is hoped the project could extend across Waveney in the future.
However, to make this viable in the future, further support and sponsorship is needed.
The Rotary clubs praised the backing of two sponsors this week, Persimmon Homes Ltd and Roger Harrod's Karpet Kingdom, who joined Nanna Lay, President of the Rotary Club of Lowestoft East Point, in presenting the dictionaries to all year three pupils at Dell Primary School on Tuesday.
The sponsors were represented by Michael Goldney, commercial director of Persimmon, and Roger Harrod of Karpet Kingdom, and Mr Tabiner said: 'The local Rotary Clubs can only undertake this project with the valued financial support of our sponsors. We are hopeful that they and other sponsors will support the project in the years ahead.'
?Any company who might be interested in sponsoring future projects should telephone Mr Tabiner on 01502 587705 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org