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Students at Besser Elementary Receive Dictionaries Thanks to the Kiwanis Club of Alpena

Third graders at Besser Elementary School were in for a treat Monday morning when the Kiwanis Club of Alpena decided to drop by with a huge surprise.

Reporter, Star Connor was there for this special story.

School was in session, but there was something different about this Monday.

3rd graders at Besser Elementary didn’t realize that a special gift would arrive early.

The Kiwanis Club of Alpena stopped by with dictionaries for children to have all to themselves.

Working together as a couple, Brian and Julie Bartosh have been giving out dictionaries to 3rd graders for over 7 years.

“Kids are really important in our community, and we care a lot about kids as Kiwanians. We think that reference materials are really important for them, in order to further their education, and sometimes we think that going to the computer and the Internet is good. But just having a simple book to be able to look through and get information from is very handy for the kids,” Brian Bartosh said.

The couple believes handing out book versions of the dictionary is a great way to develop research skills that the electronic versions lack.

“It use to be a lot more hands on and now it seems like we ‘Google’ everything. It’s nice to get them back. I have kids that like to read off kindle and then i have kids that like to read off books…Books are a good place to start,” Mrs. Bartosh said.

The couple visited three classrooms Monday. Each class had a different response when receiving their dictionaries. But one thing that they all had were smiles on their faces.

“That was really interesting about this project. As we walked in I wasn’t sure how they’d take it. The kids, they all really did light up, and were very excited to get the book. Some were saying: ‘I don’t have to use anybody else’s, I have my own.’ And they put their names in them, and really giving them something that they can carry with them for the next couple of years and use for reference as a book for their classes,” Brian Bartosh said.

The Kiwanis Club of Alpena decided to choose 3rd graders because they are at a point of learning more words and spelling.

Overall the Kiwanis Club of Alpena has delivered a total of 200 dictionaries this year.

For WBKB News in Alpena, I’m Star Connor.