By Selwyn Harris
Rosemary Clarke Middle School was one of eight Nye County schools that benefitted from the Rotary Club of Pahrump Valley this month.
The organization provided several hundred thesauruses to students last week.
Rotary sponsors the annual fundraiser known as the “$10,000 Giveaway,” where local residents and businesses earn the chance to win loot by purchasing a $100 ticket.
Proceeds from the event support a majority of the Rotary’s charitable community activities each year.
Nye County School District Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kim Friel commented on the role the thesauruses play in educating students within the district.
“They were handed out to the seventh grade students because that is the age where the Common Core standards change for writing. It’s similar to the group that gives away the dictionaries. The students can take them home to help with writing assignments and homework. The dictionaries are given to them in the third grade so it gives them the resources they need at home. Without this huge donation, many of our kids would struggle because many of them do not have those kinds of resources at home. We really appreciate this donation and the community support because we could not do it on our own,” she said.
Rotary Club member Sydney Hatch said the donations are made possible in part, through what is known as the “Dictionary Project” which is a non-profit group based in South Carolina.
“The group distributed 2,397,306 dictionaries throughout America in 2011. The project provides educational materials at very low cost to community groups supporting local schools. In this manner, they are able to support distribution of dictionaries, thesauruses, encyclopedias, and multi-lingual versions of each of these materials to schoolchildren throughout America. The Rotary’s cost was cut by almost 90 percent by dealing with this agency rather than a traditional educational materials publisher. The reasonable cost realized through purchasing books from this group may make it possible for Rotarians to expand the project next year beyond just the thesauruses,” she said.
Other funds from the $10,000 giveaway underwrite mini-grants to Pahrump teachers K-12, scholarships to graduating high school seniors, and the fall Back to School inoculation program which is carried on in cooperation with Desert View Hospital.
The Rotary Club also works with the youth leadership club Interact at Pahrump Valley High School.