Spring Branch ISD Featured News

From Words to Wonder: How the Dictionary Project Ignites LIMITLESS CURIOSITY


For nearly two decades, generous sponsors have personally distributed dictionaries to SBISD elementary schools as part of the Dictionary Project. These dictionaries are a valuable gift that students can use at school and at home for years, continuously improving their literacy skills.

This year, we asked students to share their favorite word, and their responses may surprise you! Watch the video below to see what they had to say.

The Dictionary Project is a national initiative designed to assist all students in becoming good writers, active readers, creative thinkers, and resourceful learners by providing them with dictionaries. The project aims to get a gazateer, a dictionary with a wide range of information about the different regions of the world, in the hands of all third grades in the nation. Third grade is a critical milestone in developing lifelong learning skills, as it marks the shift from learning to read to reading to learn. By supplying dictionaries to third graders, program sponsors are setting students up for success in their educational journey, and investing in their future.

Throughout the dictionary presentations, sponsors actively engage students through games and activities that showcase how to effectively search for and explore new words and information. It becomes evident to the students that dictionaries are more than just simple word references - they serve as gateways to exciting knowledge such as sign language, captivating state facts, and fascinating details about the periodic table.

From discovering unfamiliar words and facts to improving their spelling, students wholeheartedly embrace this valuable tool. Teachers do, too. Dictionaries serve as excellent supplements to classroom activities, reinforcing content across various subjects and promoting academic curiosity and a love of learning.

Thank you to our Dictionary Project sponsors for their Collective Greatness! If you feel inspired to join us in spreading the joy of words and becoming a Dictionary Project sponsor, contact us at partner@springbranchisd.com.

About SBISD's Dictionary Project: More than a decade ago, Housman Elementary School volunteer Ormonde Smith spotted a Wall Street Journal article about the Dictionary Project, an effort to promote language arts skills among the young by giving them a tool for reading, spelling and oral pronunciation. What began as a gift of a single dictionary from a mentor to his student continues to be a district-wide initiative that lives on thanks to the generosity of community members and organizations who step up to sponsor the purchase of dictionaries for all third graders in SBISD.