We learned that the Redondo Beach Elks Lodge #1378 has been involved in the dictionary program for more than 10 years. During that time, approximately 15,000 student dictionaries have been distributed in elementary schools, primarily to 3rd graders. We jumped at the chance for our Watts Dreamers to be the recipients of their next donation.
Elks member Michael Hertica graciously arranged for the donation of 70 student dictionaries, having only one request – to be able to deliver them personally and see the smiles on the faces of the Dreamers. If you follow this blog you know our Dreamers love visitors! Done.
On Tuesday, April 9th, Elks members Michael Hertica and Pam Gwozdz came to 99th Street Elementary to pass out the dictionaries and meet our young Dreamers. We met on the playground, where the Dreamers lined up to receive a dictionary and meet Michael and Pam. Then we gathered to hear a little bit about the Elks organization and the donation.
Michael began by explaining what the Elks organization is, equating it to the Boys and Girls Scouts of America. He then asked the Dreamers questions about geography and words in an effort to excite them about the wealth of knowledge contained within their new books.
The books include a comprehensive dictionary plus biographies of the U.S. Presidents, the Declaration of Independence, The U.S. Constitution, facts about the planets and solar system, maps of the seven continents, information about the 50 states, and weights and measures!
Program Director Wilma Morales-Franco explained to Michael and Pam that during the IHADLA summer programs the dictionaries will be a valuable resource for the Dreamers. After learning more about the need for supplies, the Elks have decided to help meet the need for pencils and journals in the coming weeks, just in time for our summer programs!
According to Michael: “We have recognized that the need exists beyond our local area so we have reached out to other communities as our resources permit. Our organization is committed to service to the community and this program is an example of that commitment.”