Spring Branch ISD Featured News

Dictionary Project benefits third graders for life

Video of Dictionary Project event at Woodview Elementary


Third grade students across Spring Branch ISD have received a dictionary to take home and keep as part of the district’s annual Dictionary Project program.

The Dictionary Project is a national program that came to SBISD in 2004. It gathers community sponsors to put a dictionary in the hands of every third grader in the district. Each elementary school has its own sponsor, and many backers have supported the program year after year.

Students receive this dictionary as a hands-on tool to support life-long learning. They also benefit from an engaging presentation from their school’s sponsor about how and why dictionaries are such a valuable learning resource. 

During the presentations, the school’s third graders gather to receive their dictionaries, and then explore the contents by playing hunt and search games to learn how dictionaries are organized and to discover other reference information. For example, short biographies of all the U.S. presidents, the periodic table, information about each state, and much more, can be found in the back section of the dictionary.

For the third consecutive year, the Village Republican Women’s organization, an SBISD Good Neighbor, was the sponsor at Woodview Elementary. 

“We are so excited to present dictionaries to these third graders and help them along their path to literacy,” Mary Grace Landrum, a member of the Village Republican Women and former Spring Branch ISD school board trustee, said.

This year, Woodview librarian Shannon Caesar planned an entire “Dictionary Day” around the sponsor presentation as way to promote literacy and garner engagement from the entire school. Teachers and students in all grades dressed up as words from the dictionary such as: eccentric, peacock, art, foliage, luminous, and even paleontologist!

When asked about the long-term benefits of students receiving a dictionary in the third grade, Caesar said, “It’s one way to express the importance of education and literacy. Students will learn how to use a tool to increase their vocabulary and comprehension. Our English Language Learner students are able to use a dictionary on STAAR tests, so this is a very useful tool.”

“We want to promote literacy and vocabulary development at Woodview. We are so thankful to SBISD and our Dictionary Project sponsor. The students are thrilled when they receive a dictionary that is their very own and that they can keep!”

“It feels like I am in college or something,” one student exclaimed when asked about her new dictionary.

Providing funding for dictionaries qualifies as one of three activities required for individuals, companies and organizations to earn the annual Spring Branch ISD Good Neighbor designation.  

To get involved or learn more about becoming a Dictionary Project sponsor, contact partner@springbranchisd.com