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4,170,598 ..

What does this number represent?

This is an estimate of how many third graders there are in the United States this school year. It is an almost mind-boggling number, so it is important to bear in mind each of the individual students it represents. They are mostly 8 or 9 years old, fairly new to the world of writing and books, and still excited about all there is to learn about the world. Remember what you learned about when you were in the third grade? The solar system? The human body? The life cycle of a plant? All of these subjects introduce new ideas to young learners, and with the new ideas comes new vocabulary.

As adults we know how important it is to be able to read and write well in order to share knowledge. We want to help young people succeed in school and in life, and we know that third grade is a crucial time for students to learn to read effectively.

Dictionary Project sponsors believe that giving children dictionaries is like giving them sets of keys-tools that will unlock all the information there is to be gained from reading and will also help them write about what they learn so that they can share information with others. We would like to put one of these valuable sets of keys in the hands of each third grader so that they will all feel empowered to open the world of ideas, get in there, and explore.

To get started on a dictionary project for your club, click here.