PARAMOUNT – More than 1,100 excited third-graders received a surprise donation of personal dictionaries from the Paramount Elks Lodge, a gift aimed at encouraging reading and vocabulary proficiency.
Elks Lodge members visited the District’s 11 elementary schools from Oct. 3 to 7, visiting with students in each third-grade classroom. The charitable organization stressed the importance of the dictionaries and encouraged them to start their own personal libraries.
“It was a really special day for our kids. There were smiles all around the room, and they were thrilled to be getting a book that belonged specifically to them,” Roosevelt Elementary Principal Susan Marilley said. “This will feed their appetite for reading, and is a great tradition throughout our District.”
The Elks Lodge has donated dictionaries for more than a decade – a gift that has retained its importance despite Paramount increasing the use of digital devices in classrooms. Through the latest Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), Paramount has made a renewed commitment to providing instructional materials to support student learning. But the dictionaries also hold sentimental value. As students received their new books, some Paramount staff members revealed that they still own the dictionaries they received as gifts in elementary school.
“We’re proud of our relationship with the school District, and we look forward to seeing the children light up when we visit each year,” Elks Member Glenn Baldwin said. “We work hand-in-hand with DictionaryProject.org to deliver quality dictionaries to the kids, and it’s a great investment in the future of our great community.”
The Elks Lodge serves the community in a variety of ways, including events that recognize the police and fire departments as well as providing gifts to veterans at the VA Hospital. The Elks’ relationship to Paramount Unified extends to high school as they recognize students of the month and award scholarships.
“We are grateful for The Elks Lodge and the endless support it gives to our District,” Paramount Superintendent Ruth Pérez said. “I’ve asked the parents of our community to make a special commitment to reading to our children and helping to strengthen vocabulary. This special donation will boost our efforts.”