Monroe Rotary Club presents annual gift of dictionaries for 3rd graders

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Phil Lindstrom, center, of the Rotary Club of Monroe, delivers dictionaries to Monroe Elementary School Principal Kelly Svendsen, right, Wednesday morning. Superintendent of Schools Joseph Kobza, left, accompanied Lindstrom on his route to all three of the town's elementary schools.

MONROE, CT — Monroe Rotary Club members have been delivering dictionaries to every third-grader in the school district for at least a decade. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Phil Lindstrom, a longtime member, brought the 227 books to the principals at Monroe, Stepney and Fawn Hollow elementary schools to give to their children Wednesday morning.

Monroe Elementary School Principal Kelly Svendsen accepted dictionaries for her students at the first stop.

“Students love gifts and it promotes a passion for reading, so it’s a good thing,” Svendsen said. “I’m thankful for it.”

While visiting the schools, Lindstrom was accompanied by Superintendent of Schools Joseph Kobza.

“I think the biggest thing is it just shows, once again, that the Rotary Club steps up for our kids,” he said, adding of the dictionaries, “it definitely helps strengthen kids’ English-language arts skills.”

Dave Wolfe, a Rotary Club member, usually gives a demonstration showing children how to use a dictionary, but because of the pandemic, he made a video, so students can learn virtually, according to Lindstrom.

Lindstrom is a past president, who had served as treasurer for the Rotary Club of Monroe for 14 years.

The civic organization’s website says what it means to be a Rotarian: “We’re neighbors. We’re community leaders. But most of all we’re people. We’re all united in our belief in the Rotary motto of Service Above Self.”

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