Glenwood Springs Elks Lodge gives students dictionaries
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Tom Regan spoke energetically enough to capture the attention of more than 80 third-grade Glenwood Springs Elementary School students Thursday afternoon.
“Well, hi kids,” Regan said as he entered the room hauling a stack of brown unmarked boxes.
The group responded with a collective, “Hello.”
Regan, the Glenwood Springs Elks Lodge No. 2286 club manager, was accompanied by Elks Club Exalted Ruler Sharon Williams, and together they distributed 530 dictionaries to third-grade classes throughout New Castle, Glenwood Springs and Carbondale. He gave about 100 more dictionaries than the year before, according to Regan.
“Do you know what Elks are?” Regan asked the kids.
He received the correct response from a few students regarding the large, wild animals, but it was not the response he was looking for. He could have been more specific.
“We (the Elks) are a group of people who enjoy getting together to help out their community,” Regan explained. “We help veterans, and the elderly, but what we really like to do is help the children.”
Regan then asked for some volunteers from the crowd to assist him in handing out the crisp-yellow dictionaries. There was no shortage of hands in the air as Regan carefully chose two boys and two girls to pass them out to their classmates.
“Does anyone know what a dictionary is used for?” Regan asked the students.
“It helps you find out things you don’t know,” answered one little girl.
“It helps you find the meanings to words,” another young boy responded.
While they were both correct with their response, Regan explained all the cool things that a dictionary could help them with, including pronunciation of words. Then he tested them to see how well they could use their new gift.
“As Elks, we like to help you learn,” Regan said. “One of the ways we like to do that is when you are in high school and are thinking about going to college, what we do is give out scholarships. Does anyone know what a scholarship is?”
Regan encouraged them to look up the unfamiliar word in their new dictionaries. It didn’t take long for their little fingers to flip through the pages and one young boy to find the answer.
“Money paid to a worthy student for their education,” read the boy.
“That’s right,” Regan said. “So when you are thinking about going to Yale, Harvard or the University of Colorado, you can come to us, and we’ll help pay for your books.”
Most of the kids were still investigating the crisp, new books as Regan prepared to leave. Regan has delivered the dictionaries since the Elks Club joined the program five years ago.
“One of the members read about the program, which is a nationwide program for any service organization. Rotary and Lions do it, too,” Regan said. “When we found out about this program we jumped right on board.”
The club raises money through various events each year and takes a portion of the money raised to purchase the books for the children. It’s a great investment in the younger generations of the community, according to Regan. And it’s a fun way to spend a day.
“I love it,” he said. “It’s such a worthwhile project, and the kids have so much fun with it. To see the looks on their faces, you know, you almost think you’re giving them a GameBoy or something. It’s very exciting to know they are very excited about books.”
Contact John Gardner: 384-9114
Post Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
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