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!
All LBUSD 3rd Grade Students to Receive a New Dictionary/Thesaurus Thanks to Community Fundraising Campaign
“Thank you for continuing this program. I recently set up my son’s distance learning desk in his room and found the dictionary he received in 3rd grade and I placed it on his desk, within easy reach.”
– Comment left by a Dictionary Days program donor
Long Beach, CA (January 25, 2021) – Families facing the challenges of distance learning need free educational resources now more than ever. Thanks to the generosity of literacy supporters throughout Long Beach and a significant gift from the LGA Family Foundation and the Newell Family, the Long Beach Public Library Foundation funded the purchase of a new dictionary/thesaurus for every Long Beach Unified School District 3rd grade student as part of its annual Dictionary Days program.
In 2003, the Long Beach Public Library Foundation and the Earl B. and Loraine H. Miller Foundation joined forces to create the Dictionary Days program and promote literacy and a love of libraries for local students. Since the program’s inception, over 120,000 new dictionary/thesauruses have been given to Long Beach 3rd grade students. In August 2020, the Library Foundation announced a fundraising campaign to support this year’s 3rd grade class. More than 60 generous community members made gifts of $5 or more to ensure that every student would receive a dictionary/thesaurus. A significant gift from the LGA Family Foundation helped the campaign to raise the more than $16,000 needed to continue the program this school year.
“We believe that with no classes in session and students struggling with online learning this annual program to provide dictionaries to young students is more important than ever and we are pleased to support it,” said Frank Newell.
According to the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, when children enter the 4th grade their lessons shift. Instead of learning to read, they read to learn. Students who do not read proficiently by 3rd grade are four times more likely to leave high school without a diploma than proficient readers. Record unemployment, the digital divide, and distance learning have made this school year especially difficult for local families. A dictionary/thesaurus in home libraries can help parents and guardians raise resourceful learners and active readers during this crucial time.
“As the Library Foundation celebrates its 25th year serving the Long Beach community, we are proud to continue the Dictionary Days program at a time when Long Beach families need it most,” said Library Foundation Board President M. Lissette Flores. “This would not have been possible without the generosity of those who understand the importance of early literacy to the overall health of youth and the success of our community. Thank you to everyone who donated!”
The Long Beach Unified School District will distribute the dictionary/thesauruses to 3rd grade students during their regular materials distributions in the coming weeks.
Long Beach Gives – September 24
The Long Beach Public Library Foundation is proud to be a part of Long Beach Gives, our city’s annual day of giving, on September 24, 2020! Become a fundraiser for our campaign and help us reach our goal to give every LBUSD 3rd grade student a dictionary/thesaurus of their very own. You can create your own fundraising page for our campaign and invite your friends to give a $5 donation for a dictionary/thesaurus for one 3rd grader, $25 to help five children, or $150 to support an entire classroom.
Dictionary Days Receives Statewide Recognition
On June 9, at the 2019 Grape Expectations gala, the Long Beach Public Library Foundation was awarded the California Association of Teachers of English 2019 Award of Merit for the annual Dictionary Days program. In accepting the award, Kate Azar, Library Foundation Executive Director, announced that the Library Foundation shares this honor with the Earl B. and Loraine H. Miller Foundation for making this program possible.
Every year since 2003, the Library Foundation and the Miller Foundation join forces to promote literacy for local students. Over 120,000 dictionary/thesauruses have been given to Long Beach third grade students since the program’s inception thanks to the generosity of the Miller Foundation. Dictionary Day events every Spring help students navigate their lessons by teaching dictionary use through fun and creative activities designed to help improve reading comprehension.
Press Telegram: Long Beach Public Library Foundation host upcoming reading events for Dictionary Days
Celebrate Dictionary Days at the Libraries
This year’s annual Dictionary Day Program events will commence on March 12 and include four community celebrations of words and reading at Long Beach Public Library branches throughout the city. The events follow the gift of a dictionary/thesaurus to every Long Beach Unified School District third grade student at the start of the school year.
Every year since 2003, the Long Beach Public Library Foundation and the Earl B. and Loraine H. Miller Foundation join forces to promote literacy for local students. Over 120,000 dictionary/thesauruses have been given to Long Beach third grade students since the program’s inception thanks to the generosity of the Miller Foundation.
According the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, when children enter the fourth grade their lessons shift. Instead of learning to read, they read to learn. Dictionary Day events help students navigate this crucial time by teaching dictionary use through fun and creative activities designed to help improve reading comprehension.
“For many of the children our program serves, the dictionary/thesaurus we provide is the first book they own. Learning how to look up words and research proper language can help students become resourceful learners, active readers, good writers, and creative thinkers.” said Walter M. Florie, president of the Miller Foundation Board of Trustees.
Dictionary Day events are free and open to all elementary school students and their families:
Check out the LBTV segment below of last year’s Dictionary Days program.
Grunion Gazette: Long Beach Dictionary Days Returns
The Gift of Literacy for All LBUSD 3rd Grade Students
All Long Beach Unified School District 3rd grade students are in for a treat! In the next few weeks, they will each receive a brand new dictionary/thesaurus to promote literacy and help them succeed in school.
This gift is made possible thanks to the Dictionary Days program, a partnership between the Long Beach Public Library Foundation and the Earl B. and Loraine H. Miller Foundation. Earlier this year we celebrated the 15th anniversary of Dictionary Days at the Los Altos Neighborhood Library. Check out the clip above featuring the festivities.
“The Miller Foundation is thrilled to celebrate fifteen years of Dictionary Days. By the end of 2018, this partnership between the Library Foundation and the Miller Foundation will have provided a dictionary to over 120,000 Long Beach Unified 3rd grade students. We especially enjoy giving this important gift during the holiday season, a gift that provides children with an educational tool which they can use throughout their schooling and beyond. In fact, we often hear from high school students who visit the library that they still have their Dictionary Days dictionary!” said Margaret Farwell Smith, an executive member of both the Long Beach Public Library Foundation Board of Directors and the Earl B. & Loraine H. Miller Foundation Board of Trustees.
According the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, when children enter the 4th grade, their lessons shift. Instead of learning to read, they read to learn. Reading proficiency is crucial during this age and a dictionary/thesaurus is a valuable tool to prepare students for more challenging school work.
Grunion Gazette: Libraries Celebrate 15 Years Of Dictionary Days In Long Beach
Celebrating 15 Years of Dictionary Days
Celebrate Dictionary Days, February 15th – February 24th, by joining Burnett, Dana, Bret Harte and Michelle Obama Libraries for magic, games, treats and more! ????For more information, visit https://buff.ly/2BK2huL.
Posted by Long Beach Public Library on Tuesday, February 6, 2018
In 2003, the Long Beach Public Library Foundation and the Earl B. and Loraine H. Miller Foundation joined forces to promote literacy for local students. Since that year, every Long Beach Unified School District third grade student has received a brand new dictionary – over 115,000 dictionaries gifted – thanks to the generosity of the Miller Foundation.
According the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, when children enter the fourth grade, their lessons shift. Instead of learning to read, they read to learn. Unfortunately, studies show that students who do not read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely than proficient readers to leave high school without a diploma.
The Long Beach Public Library supports students during this crucial period with Dictionary Day events designed to instill a lifelong love of reading. Librarians teach students how to properly use their new dictionaries through fun and creative activities that help improve reading comprehension.
This year’s Dictionary Days are free of charge and open to all students:
Winter Word Olympics – February 15 at 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Burnett Neighborhood Library, 560 E. Hill St., Long Beach, CA 90806
Potions with Professor Snape – February 20 at 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Dana Neighborhood Library, 3680 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, CA 90807
Harry Potter’s Magical Dictionary – February 22 at 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Bret Harte Neighborhood Library, 1595 W. Willow St., Long Beach, CA 90810
Enchanted Garden – February 24 at 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library, 5870 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, CA 90805