Celebrating Dictionary Days with Farmers & Merchants Bank and Long Beach Students
On June 1, 2022, we celebrated Dictionary Days with our friends from the Farmers & Merchants Bank Foundation at Lincoln Elementary School in Long Beach. Thanks to generous support from Farmers & Merchants Bank, the Long Beach Public Library Foundation purchased a new dictionary/thesaurus for every Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) third-grade student as part of our 19th annual Dictionary Days program. 5,000 dictionary/thesauruses were recently distributed to all LBUSD elementary schools which brings the total number of dictionaries distributed to Long Beach students through this program to more than 135,000 dictionaries.
Library Foundation President, Ryan Ballard, and Christine Walker-Bowman, Co-chair of the Farmers & Merchants Bank Foundation, kicked things off in the school library with an introduction about why dictionary use is so important. A dictionary/thesaurus is a crucial resource for many students who are struggling to keep up following a long period of distance learning. According to a March 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. A dictionary/thesaurus will help students stay on track.
Teacher Librarian, Cynthia Melara, then led volunteers from the Library Foundation and Farmers and Merchants Bank Foundation in helping students through a dictionary scavenger hunt to identify the definition, pronunciation, part of speech, and usage label of different words. Library Foundation Executive Director/CEO, Veronica Garcia Dávalos, closed the festivities with a gift for Ms. Walker-Bowman: a “Key to Literacy” designed and 3D printed in the Billie Jean King Main Library makerspace Studio which is funded by the Library Foundation.
LBUSD has distributed all dictionary/thesauruses to this year’s third-grade class. We look forward to more years of celebrating Dictionary Days and promoting literacy in Long Beach!