Posted by Phil Grigg
Dictionaries for 4th Graders 
 …… Boosting Literacy in Our Elementary Schools
 “Teach us how to use a wonderful illustrated children’s dictionary and then cap it off: by telling us to write our name in it because we get to keep and take it home!”
Our Mt View School Facebook page posted the following:
Figure 1 Mount View School Facebook Post
Our Literacy - Dictionaries for 4th Graders project was multi phased and took place over a six month period.  Our project team initially solicited schools to find out if the project would help improve literacy behavior and also to determine the projected 4th Grade school populations.
The purposes of the project were to:
  • Provide a hard bound children’s dictionary to 4th grade students for take home purposes.  Internet is not always available away from town, this will be the only book some children will own and many studies are now showing some limitations in electronic learning and literacy development.
  • Provide an additional tools for teachers to use.
  • Increase engagement of club members both at a meeting and by attending the library classes.
Last year, we completed the first year of this project and  a follow-up survey given to the schools last February overwhelmingly supported the positive literacy impact to the students.  Some comments included:
  • Students showed an improved knowledge of the alphabet and used that knowledge to help locate other books and items in the libraries
  • Some higher family involvement with the dictionaries such as using them at the dinner table to look up and talk about word meanings
  • Home dictionaries becoming a tool for teachers to assign literacy homework activities
  • Better student knowledge of grammar, language, geography, other nations, presidents, and other areas of the dictionary