Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Gift of Knowledge

With the start of school comes new experiences, new teachers and, thanks to an annual program organized by the district’s Community Relations Department, a new dictionary for every Spring Branch ISD third-grade student.

Thanks to the generosity of community members and organizations, more than 2,600 third graders took home their dictionaries along with supporting lessons about reading, proper word use and encouragement to become life-long learners.

More than a decade ago, Housman Elementary School volunteer, Ormonde Smith, spotted a Wall Street Journal article about the Dictionary Project, an effort to promote language arts skills among the young by giving them a main tool for reading, spelling and oral pronunciation. What began as a gift of a single dictionary from a mentor to his student, The Dictionary Project continues to be a district-wide initiative.

Sponsors of the program this year include Germaine Champion, Katherine Dawson, Chris Gonzalez, Doug and Pam Goodson, Rusty Graham, Theresa Kosmoski, Larry and Patricia McDowell, Barbara Potts, Mary Sherwood, Daniel Measurement & Control, Kids Hope Mentors at Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church, the Northwest Harris County Retired Teachers Association, the Spring Branch Lions Club, United Way of Greater Houston, and the Village Republican Women. Additionally, a grant from the Houston CPA Society was used to support half of the district’s Title I campuses.

“This program would not be possible without the continued generosity of our community members who believe in our students, our schools and this wonderful program,” program coordinator Abby Walker says. “Putting a new dictionary in the hands of every SBISD third grader at the start the school year sends a powerful message to our students that the community supports their educational pursuits.”

Participating in the Dictionary Project is just one of the ways community members support literacy and participate in SBISD’s Good Neighbor program. To learn more about the Dictionary Project, literacy initiatives in need of community support or the Good Neighbor program, please contact Abby Walker at 713.251.2289 or visit:


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