Kiwanis Club gives dictionaries to city’s third-grade students

Children in the Forest Elementary School third-grade classes taught by Carla Avery, Ann Kissel and Jennifer LaFehr hold up their new dictionaries.

By Paula Newman

A dictionary is a book that gives the meaning of words. 

The Dictionary Project is a program that helps give third-graders the meaning of the knowledge available when they can read those words. 

Since 2007, the Kiwanis Club of Riverview has been involved with the Dictionary Project, a nationwide, nonprofit venture founded in Georgia in 1992. With help from local businesses and donors, the Kiwanis Club members in Riverview have distributed dictionaries to third graders in the city’s schools each year, and this year was no exception. 

“Over the past 11 years, we have provided 3,242 dictionaries to Huntington, Memorial and Forest elementary schools,” said Andrew Swift, a member of the club’s Board of Directors and mayor of the city. “For several years, we also donated to the third graders at Trillium Academy in Taylor because that city didn’t have a Kiwanis Club. This is one of our club’s favorite projects because it gets us in the schools in front of the students. They are always very happy to see us, especially if they have an older sibling who has received a dictionary in the past.” 

Why third graders? 

“We want to help young people succeed in school and in life, and we know that third grade is a crucial time for students to learn to read effectively,” states a letter posted online by the club. “Dictionary Project sponsors believe that giving children dictionaries is like giving them a set of keys — tools that will unlock all the information there is to be gained from reading and will also help them write about what they learn so they can share information with others.” 

The project in Riverview is supported financially by: 

• Atria Kinghaven Senior Living 
• Bellaire Senior Living 
• Biundo Cement Co. 
• C. E. Raines Co. 
• Comfort Zone Insulation 
• Deanna Boone Agency Inc. 
• Forest Elementary Parent Club 
• Mayor Andrew Swift 
• Memorial Elementary Parent Club 
• William Lynn 
• Pentiuk Couvreur &Kobiljak P.C. 
• Riverview Animal Hospital 
• Riverview Towing Inc. 

“The Dictionary Project wouldn’t happen without their generous donations,” Swift said.

Kiwanis Club helps families at Thanksgiving 

The Kiwanis of Riverview Thanksgiving Food Basket Program feeds 10 needy Riverview families. With financial assistance from Thrivent Financial and a donation of 10 turkeys from the Deanna Boone State Farm Agency, feeding these families takes place just in time for the holiday. Each family receives a complete Thanksgiving dinner including a large turkey. Kiwanis members shop for the food at Meijer in Woodhaven and then pack the food up into several boxes. The food is then taken to Seitz Middle School to be repacked for the individual families by the Riverview Community High School Key Club. Kiwanis Club members then deliver the food directly to the families home. The families are selected from the “Free and Reduced Lunch Program” at the Riverview Community Schools.

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