Burbank Elks Lodge made its 12th annual stop at Providencia Elementary School on Friday delivering paperback dictionaries to three third-grade classes.
Exalted Ruler John Coyle was joined by fellow Elks members Dictionary Chair and Chair of the Board of Trustees Charlene Peale, Greg Peale and Ramona Higgins.
Each year, all the third-graders in the Burbank Unified School District elementary receive the dictionaries. This year the total number of students getting the dictionaries is 1,031, Charlene Peale said.
Providencia Principal Jennifer Culbertson introduced Coyle to the students. He told them the dictionaries not only will help them with their spelling but many other subjects of reference.
There is a place at the beginning of the book where they can write their names and their teachers names have been placed on a label on the same page.
It has the symbols for sign language, list of planets, history of each country, the state capitals and when each became a state and the longest word in the English language that took up half a page.
Other highlights in the book are the U.S. Presidents and their biographies, the U.S. Constitution and the evolution of the American flag’s design.
The students oohed and awed as Coyle told them each highlight.
Joining in the morning presentation was district Superintendent Matt Hill and Director of Elementary Education Peter Knapik.
The Elks and Providencia already share a partnership in that for the past 15 years the fraternal organization has welcomed the nearby school to hold its fifth grade promotion ceremony at the lodge, Culbertson said.
“On behalf of Providencia’s third-graders and of course on behalf of all the third-graders in our district thank you so much for your generosity,” Culbertson told the Elks. “The fact that they will have them for years to come is so special!”
As the arts is a major part of the school’s curriculum, Culbertson added, the school has been recognized as a 2016 Exemplary Arts Program School. The designation is from the California Department of Education as part of its Gold Ribbon Awards.
So, to thank the Elks for their donation, each class sang a song and had drawn colorful props to help illustrate the lyrics. They also presented the Elks with handmade thank you notes.
“I want to thank all of you for entertaining us with some beautiful music and all your artwork,” Coyle told the classes. “You are very talented, though obviously the school teaches much more than singing and art. I’m looking at penmanship here that for a third-grader is really unbelievable. Some adults cannot write this clear.”
Carol Lopez, parent of student Cesar Lopez, attended the ceremony and believes the dictionary donation program is great because it keeps him off the Internet.
“He can use it without asking me to go online, so it’s safer than using the computer,” she said.