The Rotary has sponsored a "Breakfast with Santa" at Clay High School for the past 7-8 years and has donated funds to the Challenger Learning Center for the past several years. The Rotary has also donated funds to Polio Plus for many years.
Last year the Oregon-Northwood Rotary Club, which was sponsored in 1987, distributed dictionaries to third grade students in the Oregon and Northwood school districts. Each of the approximately 300 dictionaries was inscribed with each student's name.
Greg Clark, a Rotarian and the superintendent of Northwood Schools, said, "It's special to receive a gift from anyone. When it's something that has your name in it and is intended for you to use for the remainder of your school years and beyond, is a neat thing."
Christie McPherson, principal of Lark and Olney elementary schools in Northwood, said the dictionaries were a big hit last year.
"Kids like to get mail, they like to get books and they were thrilled to get something of their own," she said. "They were handed out individually and each child had their own nameplate.
hildren need to learn how to learn to use resources, how to look up a word and how to use a word appropriately. They used them in school and at the end of the year they took them home.
"We appreciate the Rotary's efforts and their donation for our students. The students have a useful resource at their fingertips."
Oregon-Northwood Rotary Club President Frank Dobnikar said the Webster's dictionaries will be distributed to all third-graders in the Oregon and Northwood school districts in January.
"It's a Rotary International program that they've had around for years," Dobnikar said. "There are so many programs available that we take ideas from and use in the community. We just started this one last year and it went well. We put their name inside with a Rotary sticker and got some pictures with all the students, and they (Oregon) put it in their school newspaper."
Third-graders at Starr, Coy, Jerusalem, and Wynn elementary schools in Oregon will receive dictionaries, as will the 37 boys and 33 girls at Olney Elementary School.
"We got a deal from a distributor and they were paperback, so they are easy to carry around and keep in their desks," Dobnikar said. "We wanted to do it because a lot of kids don't even own a dictionary. It's becoming a lost tool because of the computer and they don't even know how to use a dictionary.
"We plan on continuing this program as long as we can. It's going to be an annual program. We get the money through our fundraisers and club member donations."
The Oregon-Northwood Rotary Club has 25 members that include local business owners and professionals. The Club meets every Thursday morning at Cousino's Steakhouse on Woodville Road and welcomes any visitors who want to consider membership.
Rotary International has 33,000 clubs worldwide and more than one million Rotarians. For more information call Frank Dobnikar at 419-902-1565.