DAVENPORT, Iowa — A fraternal organization in Davenport is handing out dictionaries to 1,300 third-grade students in the city’s school district.
The dictionaries from Davenport Elks Lodge 298 also come with a “Kid Zone” coloring book and bookmark that focus on drug awareness, according to the Quad-City Times (http://bit.ly/2dPy66D ).
Longtime Elks member Earl Oelerich tells students to stay in school, avoid drugs and use scholarships to fund their college education. The 86-year-old said teachers told the club members that students like and use the reference books.
Lodge member Lois Kundel said that not all kids have computers at home to look up how to spell words correctly. She told the students they could participate in the “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign by giving their artwork to the organization.
Davenport Elks leader John Zamora said club members are dedicated to the dictionary project, which has gone on for 15 years.
“Our Elks members enjoy interacting with the children and are happy to invest in their education,” Zamora said. Oelerich said he knows students who received dictionaries a long time ago that continue to use them in college and beyond.
The dictionaries were purchased with grant funds from the Chicago-based Elks Foundation, which allocates almost $10 million to local lodges for community needs each year through the Elks’ Gratitude grant.
Information from: Quad-City Times, http://www.qctimes.com