Students define dictionaries as ‘awesome’/ Northshore Citizen

“Awesome,” “marvelous,” “spectacular,” “wonderful,” “super duper” and “cool” are favorite expressions third-graders at Canyon Creek Elementary used in describing the brand new American Heritage dictionaries each one received last month — to keep, no less.

Thanked Whitley, “Thank you for the HUGE dictionary! You are kind to spend a lot of money to give a dictionary. I plan to take good care of it and use it a lot!”

The dictionary project embraced nine elementary schools in the Northshore School District and is in its fourth year as an “education, literacy and scholarship” focus of the Woodinville Rotary Club. Members personally went to the schools to distribute more than 700 dictionaries. They met well-behaved students, wide-eyed and thrilled at the thought of receiving the illustrated dictionary.

Although one recipient noted that the books were “so heavy,” that’s what happens when one broadens one’s vocabulary while enjoying “lots of pictures.”

I inadvertently left out “stupendous.” Nic wrote, “Thank you for the stupendous and cool dictionary. Your club is awesome. I plan to learn how to pronounce words that I don’t know with my dictionary.”

Christopher said, “Your club is incredible.”  Annabelle plans “to teach my baby sister new words!” Natalie added “Your club rocks at thier (sic) job!” Oh, well.

Teacher Jennifer McKnight of Bear Creek elementary, wrote a cover letter to accompany another packet of thank you letters. “These dictionaries are a wonderful gift that I look forward to each year!”

The students did not spare the use of exclamation marks. Said Blake at Bear Creek, “You guys make looking up words fun!” Kelly said her dictionary “will be useful for homework, books and definitions of words!” Henry was fascinated by the word “glucose, noun.”

One student was apologetic. “P.S. I’m sorry this letter is short, but I couldn’t think of what else to say.” I’ll conjecture that writer was overwhelmed by the generosity of others?

One letter was merely signed “Your Name,” but conveyed that the author was “so happy. And, it has good stuf (sic).”

Payton reported: “Sometimes my brother and I would do dictionary races to find random words. I am happy to now have my own dictionary to use.”


John B. Hughes was owner-publisher of the Northshore Citizen from 1961 to 1988 and is active in local nonprofit organizations.