Welcome to the Winnetka Rotary Literacy Projects Blog

Our literacy committee blog shares information about our Rotary literacy projects and events associated with sharing access to the many different ways in which people read. Some access reading the "traditional" way, some have computers read books, Internet pages, newspapers, and other print material. Our goal is to make the "written word" accessible to every person of every age and ability.

Please come back to find out about our past, present, and future projects.

What is the impact of illiteracy?

Illiteracy causes more harm than merely having a reduced ability to read and write. Illiteracy causes entire families to remain isolated from the everyday fabric of their local and global communities, to remain isolated from inspiration acquired by "enough education," and to remain isolated from a means to share history beyond the reaches of their spoken word.
----Dr. Jeanne Beckman

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Follow-up on dictionary project plus

Our orders are in, the District Simplified Grant check is on the way, and we should be able to distribute our dictionaries in the first week of June. Here's what our project entails:
For the Winnetka-Northfield Rotary’s literacy project, the traditional Rotary Dictionary Project (one book for every 3rd grader), will be combined with added bonus of the Ultimate Talking Dictionary (computer software that is a full dictionary that reads aloud the definitions, so that every third grader in the Winnetka and Northfield public schools(plus one dictionary for each special needs and ELL student in all grades between kindergarten and eighth grade),can not only have his or her own traditional print dictionary, but can own his or her own copy of dictionary software to look up words on a computer at school or at home. Here’s a description of the Ultimate Talking Dictionary:

The Ultimate Talking Dictionary (UTD), is not only a comprehensive dictionary, but has other robust, integrated features that make it unlike any other dictionary anywhere. Like all other Premier products, UTD reads everything to you. The dictionary contains over 250,000 words, terms, jargon, and even proper nouns like geographic entries (e.g. cities, countries) and historical persons. UTD has a complete thesaurus built-in that allow you to quickly find synonyms and their corresponding definitions. The “Power Search” feature lets you look up words when you only know a partial spelling. Premier’s unique Interlink technology incorporates complex cross-references between all words in the UTD so you can quickly find related terms and definitions, even when you only have a vague concept of a word.

1. How will this project meet the needs of the community?

Even though many of the students in these two communities have family incomes that are far above those generally viewed as in need, most, if not all, students can benefit from additional vocabulary support and encouragement. The dictionary project has repeatedly demonstrated that students feel great pride in ownership in having their own personal dictionary. Additionally, many students have some barriers to easy acquisition to vocabulary growth, whether due to unidentified or identified learning challenges, disabilities, and/or English language learning. Combining both traditional dictionaries with software versions allows equal access and provides a foundation for lifelong learning.

This is a great kickoff to the local service project our incoming president, Rich Lalley, has planned. Stay tuned...