Sparking Knowledge To Brighten Your Future

The Decatur Life Member Club AT&T Pioneer Volunteers kicked off the Dictionary Project in Illinois in 2006. The project has grown over the 8 years and this school year alone, over 3,000 dictionaries were presented to 3rd grade students throughout our state.

In today’s computer/Internet world, we feel a dictionary is still the first and most powerful reference tool that a child should own. It can be kept in the students desk or backpack and used at anytime, anyplace. The dictionary that we provide goes far beyond the spellings, pronunciations and definitions of words. It contains information on weights/measures, multiplication tables, history, sign language, and much more. It’s also a companion for solving problems that arise as a child develops his or her reading, writing and creative thinking abilities. The students immediately start to explore the books and it’s so heartwarming to see their smiles and enthusiasm.

In 2011, the project name was changed to “Sparking Knowledge to Brighten Your Future” to coincide with the 100th Anniversary of the Pioneer organization and the change in our logo from a triangle to a spark. With this change, we provided bookmarks for each student that included a quote from Alexander Graham Bell, “BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE, PREPARATION IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS.” For the past few years we have distributed branded orange pencil “PENCILS FOR PROGRESS – AT&T PIONEER VOLUNTEERS” with each dictionary. Additionally, for the 2013/14 school years we provided each school we visited with the collection of Scholastic books for their school libraries.

This year we received a $2,000 donation from AT&T Illinois and a $2,000 donation from AT&T Inc. to help fund our SPARKING KNOWLEDGE TO BRIGHTEN YOUR FUTURE project. Additional, for the past two years the Decatur Kiwanis have donated funds for dictionaries in their area. If you are interested in learning more about this worthwhile project or would like to make a donation to fund this project, please contact us.

Dictionary and Pencil Donation from the Illinois AT&T Pioneer Decatur Life Member Council

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Volunteer Joyce Roterman  and others from AT&T Pioneers Illinois Chapter

Volunteers  John Artinghelli and Joyce Roterman get ready to unload dictionaries from their vehicle

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