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Elks provide a reference for local students

PERU Third grade students at several local elementary schools recently received a special gift. Members of the Keeseville Elks Lodge 2072 handed out more than 300 new dictionaries to third-graders at Keeseville Elementary School, AuSable Forks Elementary School, Holy Name School, and Peru Primary School Oct. 8 and 9. This is the fifth year the organization has distributed dictionaries as part of an initiative by Elks Lodges across New York State. [Third grade] is a good time to begin learning the real meaning of words, explained lodge member Bob Bomba. These dictionaries are good for that age. In addition to definitions, the paperback books also include a section with general reference materials for science, math, sign language, and Braille. According to the lodge exalted ruler David Gload, the dictionary program began in 2004 at the suggestion of David Carr, a lodge member in Ticonderoga. Since then, the Kiwanis organization has joined in the effort at many other schools. It seems like each year it increases, said Gload, noting how more books were handed out this year than ever before. Gload said they provide the dictionaries free of charge with the intent of improving skills like reading and spelling among students. For the students, its an impact that seems to last. Well run into students whose parents will say, my son or daughter still has their dictionary from four years ago, said lodge member Jan Downs. They dont use it as much with computers available, but they still go to it.

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