The Rotary Club of Hazleton has been purchasing and donating new dictionaries, annually, to area students since 2001. Third graders at all of the Hazleton Area Elementary Schools (Freeland is covered by Freeland Rotary) are the student recipients, as well as, 3rd graders from Holy Family Academy and Immanuel Christian School.
This is a yearly event done as a way for the club to introduce young people to the “wonder of words”. Many local children lack internet access, and dictionaries give them all a common starting point, while making classroom dictionary exercises possible. Project Chairman Joe Lettiere says, “People think today’s youngsters only use computers and wouldn’t have a use for dictionaries, but we are finding that a lot of students do not have home computers and will use the dictionaries which they really seem to enjoy.”
Assisting Joe with this project are John Beltrami and Rotary Club President Pat Ward. Additional assistance is being provided by Club Members Donna Barna, Toni Kelpsh, Lani Drobnock, John Schwear, Sharon Farver, Michele Fisher, Paul Brenner, Tim Genetti, Lew Dryfoos, Jason Brenner, De Ann Miller, John Madden, Bill Pavlick, Pat Korb, Kathie Oh, Alan Whitaker, and Charlie DeCosmo. Over 900 dictionaries will be delivered to our area’s school children.
Funds are made possible by the many fund raising projects the Rotary Club of Hazleton conducts throughout the year, in particular, the Holiday Poinsettia Sale. When the community supports fundraisers like this one, they also support the various people in the community who benefit from Rotary Club service projects.