Byron Lion Joe Cartney gives Merideth Holmen her new dictionary.
By Patricia Cutting
Third grade students of Byron Elementary School beamed as they each received their very own dictionary and gazetteer. The Zumbro Valley Grange, Lions Club and Women of Today organizations, all of Byron, collaborated together to present each third grader with a dictionary and gazetteer. The Grange has presented dictionaries for 12 years; the last three years have been in partnership with the Lions and Women of Today. Twelve years ago, Byron had 84 students in third grade. This year there are 143 third graders.
Grange member, Ralph Cutting told the students that he graduated from Byron High School 70 years ago and told them how very important it is to have a good education and to make sure that they finish high school.
The dictionary is written on a third grade level. The gazetteer includes: biographies of the U.S. Presidents; the Declaration of Independence: the U.S. Constitution; facts about the planets in our solar system; maps of the seven continents; information about the 50 U.S. states; information about the countries of the world; a multiplication table; and weights and measures.
The last page shows the longest word in the English language. It has 1,909 letters; it is an enzyme that has 267 amino acids. Principal Abe Rodemeyer, who accompanies the members of the Grange, Lions, and Women of Today from room to room presenting the dictionaries, teasingly tells the students that the word will be on one of their spelling tests.
The organizations believe it is important to give the students these dictionaries because students can only get a great education if they have the tools to help them learn.