Columbia Falls-area third graders say “Rotary Rocks!”

By Beacon Staff

Not long after Rotary Club of Columbia Falls member Jimmy DeHerrera delivered a dictionary to each of Canyon Elementary School’s 3rd graders, he received a bunch of thank you cards in the mail. One stood out to him so much that he read it out loud to the club at their regular Wednesday lunch meeting at the Back Room in C-Falls.

The message in the 3rd grader’s card closed with “Rotary Rocks!” As you can imagine, the message made DeHerrera’s day.

Over the past few weeks, members of the Rotary Club of Columbia Falls donated a total of 150 dictionaries to third graders at Deer Park Elementary, Glacier Gateway Elementary, West Glacier School, Canyon Elementary and to a reading group at Columbia Falls Junior High. Another community group donates dictionaries to the kids at Ruder.

These aren’t just any old dictionary. They’re called “A Student’s Dictionary”. They include a dictionary, weights and measures, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, maps of the seven continents, information about the 50 states, biographies of the U.S. presidents, and facts about the eight planets in the solar system. Yep, these books are current enough to drop poor old Pluto (the planet, not the dog) from the ranks of “official planets”.

I was rather surprised at the utility of these volumes. They’d make a great reference for a writer or any student, not just a third grader.

Rotary Clubs across Montana donated over 10,500 dictionaries to third graders as part of this project. Bigfork, Columbia Falls, Kalispell and Whitefish all have at least one club, each of which participated in this project.