One of Rotary International’s major initiatives is to promote literacy worldwide.  Promoting literacy is not limited to third world countries or impoverished areas.  Rather, it is a universal need that helps anyone improve their chances for a better life.   Our Club is doing our part to bring a useful literacy tool to our local area.  This month, we presented a thesaurus to every fifth grade student in the Irvington and Kennedy High School service areas.  We visited 10 elementary schools and gifted over 1,100 students their very own thesaurus to keep as their own to expand their vocabulary and learn more expressive ways to communicate.  While students can find similar resources online, they were truly excited to get their very own book to keep at school or take home and each student took time to write their names in the cover plate of the book.
After we presented the books, we took time with their teachers to go through a few practice exercises, teaching the students how to use a thesaurus and challenging them to find many ways to complete sentences using more animated words.  Even the teachers were grateful for our simple gift. Many of them only had a classroom budget to have a couple copies on hand to share among all their students.  And for us Rotarians, we had the satisfying pleasure to see the student’s thirsty minds at work!