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Lamar Rotary Offers the World in a Book

Young Student with New Book

Young Student with New Book

Third graders in Parkview Elementary school in Lamar were among several hundred students in four counties that received their own personal dictionary from the Lamar Rotary. Each book included a letter which described the on-going donation which is now in its 16th year in southeast Colorado.

Lamar Rotarian Judy Turpin Explains the Donation to Parkview Students

Lamar Rotarian Judy Turpin Explains the Donation to Parkview Students

Boxes of books were opened in several third grader classrooms at Parkview this past September and Rotarians called out the names of the students who received, perhaps for many, their very first, ‘grown-up’ book. It didn’t take long for the students to put their new books to use, as they were asked to search for a variety of words to get an idea of the process.  Literally, this was probably the first time any of the students had used a dictionary.  It didn’t take but a moment for them to start finding and reading the definitions for ‘service’ for example, a word suggested by Rotarian Judy Turpin in the classroom in which she was handing out the books.

Kids Research New Words

Kids Research New Words

Turpin added that the funds for the books come from the Rotary’s annual Ducky Dash held each spring in Lamar, as well as from local banks and private businesses that also contribute to the cost. This year, 273 dictionaries were distributed to students from Prowers, Baca, Kiowa and Cheyenne counties and 300 have been ordered for next year.  The cost is approximately $3,000.  Turpin said, “This is the one big event the Rotary works for through the year, to be able to afford, order and then give out the books is a rewarding experience for all of us, especially in the delight of the students when they’re given the dictionary.”

Rotary members meet each Thursday in Lamar and spend one of their sessions hand-writing the personal notes that accompany each dictionary. The books are ordered in advance and the students keep them in their classroom until the end of the year when they take them home with them.  Turpin said the group was happy to have the school board administration take part in the give-away with RE-2 Superintendent, Dave Tecklenburg on hand, as well as Mr. Banker.

Just a quick calculation of 16 years of dictionaries presented to an average of 240 third-graders a year, comes to 3,840 students who have been given more than just a book by the Rotary; they’ve been handed a key to opening a door to a world of knowledge that will benefit them for years to come. You can learn more about the local efforts of the Lamar Rotary at their website

By Russ Baldwin



Filed Under: City of GranadaCity of HollyCity of LamarCity of WileyCountyEducationEventsFeaturedSchoolYouth


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