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The Fernandina Beach Rotary Club recently concluded one of its most important local service projects of the year – delivering 844 dictionaries to every third grade student in Nassau County.  Club members visited third-grade classes throughout the county, including Fernandina Beach, Yulee, Callahan, Hilliard and Bryceville as well as private schools Faith Christian Academy, Amelia Island Montessori and St. Michael Academy.  Students received not only a dictionary, but a brief explanation of what Rotary is as well as how dictionaries can help them become active readers, good writers and creative thinkers.


Delivering dictionaries has been a project of the Fernandina Beach Rotary Club for more than six years.  The club was recently recognized by The Dictionary Project, the national, nonprofit organization whose goal is to reach every third grade student in the U.S.  In its citation, the organization noted that of the estimated 16,275,858 students that have received dictionaries, more than 5,400 have been distributed in Nassau County by the Fernandina Beach Rotary Club.  Dictionary Project President Mary French said, “The support of the Fernandina Beach Rotary Club makes it possible for students to receive a dictionary for their own personal use that they will be able to use for a lifetime.”  She added, “For some children, this may be the very first book that they have ever owned.”


For the first time this year, the Fernandina Beach Rotary Club partnered with the Amelia Island Book Festival to purchase and distribute the dictionaries.   Rotary Club President Shannon Brown said, “Our club was honored to have the Amelia Island Book Festival join us in our dictionary project, especially since the Festival is dedicated to promoting literacy and a life-long love of the written word.  Every year, the Festival introduces our community to an impressive array of talented writers.  We believe that through our dictionary project, we are building the next generation of writers and book lovers.”

  Below are two Rotarians, Steve Sell and Vince Cavallo, delivering dictionaries to Yulee Elementary School.