Long Beach Public Library Foundation

All LBUSD 3rd Grade Students to Receive a New Dictionary/Thesaurus Thanks to Dictionary Days Sponsored by Farmers & Merchants Bank Foundation

Thanks to generous support from Farmers & Merchants Bank Foundation, the Long Beach Public Library Foundation was able to purchase a new dictionary/thesaurus for every Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) third-grade student.

The 2021/2022 school year marks the Dictionary Days program’s 19th year since it was founded in 2003 by the Library Foundation and the Earl B. and Loraine H. Miller Foundation. Since that year, more than 135,000 new dictionaries have been distributed to Long Beach third-grade students.

Third grade is an important year for students because it marks their transition from learning to read to reading to learn. According to the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, students who do not read proficiently by the fourth grade are four times more likely to leave high school without a diploma. Third grade is an important year for students because it marks their transition from learning to read to reading to learn.

A dictionary/thesaurus is a crucial resource for many students who are struggling to keep up in school following a long period of distance learning. According to a February 2022 LBUSD report, during this first in-person school year since the pandemic began, 61 percent of elementary and 66 percent of middle school students in Long Beach read below grade level. Additionally, 35 percent of elementary and 37 percent of middle school students read at three or more grade levels behind their current grade. A dictionary/thesaurus will help students stay on track.

LBUSD will distribute the dictionary/thesauruses to all third-grade students at their schools in the coming weeks.