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In other words: Rotary provides thesaurus to fourth graders

September 25, 2013
By MEL TOADVINE ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The Rotary Club of Lehigh Acres is at it again.

They were the first to hand out free dictionaries to Lehigh elementary students several years ago and that effort spread to all the other Rotary Clubs in Lee County.

Now they are the only club that is handing out a thesaurus in Lee County and each student in the fourth grade in Lehigh's several elementary schools - and in Alva and Gateway - are going to get their own free copy to take home and to use at school.

Article Photos

Alex Ivy, 9, of Lehigh shows how excited he is to get a free thesaurus from the Lehigh Rotary Club. His fourth grade teacher is Kelli Stumpf.

"The idea behind this project is to provide fourth graders in our public schools with their own personal thesaurus with no cost to the student or to the school. The thesaurus, combined with the dictionary they received in the third grade, is for the students to keep, so that they can use it throughout their school career.

"Our goal is to aid the third and fourth grade teachers to see all of their students leave at the end of the year as good writers, active readers, and creative thinkers," said Jack Vealey, the assistant project coordinator for the Rotary Club of Lehigh Acres.

He said the club began visiting elementary schools on Sept. 13 and plan to have finished this year's project on this Friday, Sept. 25.

Then on Friday, Oct. 4, Lehigh Rotarians will join with the other 12 Rotary clubs in Lee County and begin handing out dictionaries to all third grade students in Lee County.

"Our members really get a lot of satisfaction by doing this," Vealey said.

The club and its members will hand out more than 1,500 copies of a thesaurus to fourth grade students at G. Weaver Hipps, Harns Marsh, Lehigh, Mirror Lakes, Sunshine, Tortuga Preserve, Veterans Park, Alva and Gateway elementary schools.

Vealey said it wasn't only the Rotary Club that provides this gift to each student but others in the community who provide what he called "tremendous support" that is received in Lehigh at the club's fund raising events.

Their next event will be a Rocks, Blues and Brews Fest to be held on Saturday, Nov. 9 at Mirror Lakes Golf Club. For more information about the fest, call Vealey at 239-826-7388 or email him at

Lehigh Rotarians also provide upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas Day dinners and invite everyone in the community to attend free of charge.

Rotarians meet one morning each week and for its small membership size is credited for providing several major events for the community.



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