Look it up in the dictionary


Superintendent of Schools Catherine Latham is all smiles as Sewell-Anderson School third-grader Gabriel Martin reads his new dictionary.

While it’s true that people these days can go to Google, or some other search engine online to find out how to spell a word, or to look up its meaning, there’s something about a dictionary that makes the process a bit more lasting.

Those of us past a certain age know this. We were the ones, as children, who had to keep one close by whenever we wanted to find out what a word meant. Our parents’ most common response to the question, “how do you spell …” was “look it up in the dictionary.”

There’s a good chance that anything you learn through labor you’ll remember. It’s just not the same typing what you think is the correct spelling of a word into Google, and then having it make the correction for you. “Did you mean …?”

Then, all you have to do is cut and paste into your document and problem solved. However, did you really learn how to spell the word?

The Rotary Club of Lynn annually provides dictionaries to third-grade students in all public schools as a way to maintain its commitment to encourage learning among the city’s youth. The club is helped in this endeavor by Equitable Bank President Donald Smith and Rotary President Raymond Bastarache.

Bastarache and Smith were at Sewell-Anderson Wednesday, where Bastarache was once the principal. Mary Panagopoulos, who is now the principal, says endeavors such as this are important not just because of the educational opportunity they provide, but because it gives children in the city the knowledge that there are people who care about them.

We hope, going forward, that the boys and girls who got their dictionaries Wednesday become familiar with them through the rest of their academic careers, and that they grow to understand  the value of taking the extra time to really learn the language so that it becomes an important part of their lives.


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