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Riley third graders receive gift of words
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Dr. Roger Marshall waits to be dismissed from lunch with third graders at Riley Elementary School Tuesday at noon. He was there with fellow Rotarians Terry and Harry to distribute dictionaries to the students. - photo by VERONICA COONS, Great Bend Tribune

The Four Way Test is the motto of Rotary

“Of the things we think, say or do:
Is it the truth?
Is it fair to all concerned?
Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Third grade students in the Bonnie Ward’s, Casey Gatton’s and Mira Hammond’s classes at Riley Elementary School had visitors during lunch Tuesday afternoon.  Dr. Roger Marshall and fellow Rotarians Harry Willems and Terry Vink had lunch with students prior to visiting them in their classrooms where they distributed dictionaries to each student.  
“The one thing that has made the biggest difference in my life is learning to read,” Dr. Marshall said.  He explained how reading led to writing, which in turn led to him being able to excel in school and find a good job as an adult.  He also explained that Rotary is one of the largest humanitarian service organizations in the world, Marshall said, with a primary focus on eradicating Polio.  The group also promotes literacy, and has given dictionaries to third graders for many years.
They also gave each student a bookmark that had the Rotary four-way test printed on it, which Marshall read aloud with the kids.
Mrs. Ward and Riley Principal JoAnn Blevins spoke with Marshall following the presentation.
The kids, they said, get a lot of use out of their dictionaries.
“Given the choice of coloring during free time or spending time looking through their dictionaries, usually the kids prefer the dictionaries,” Gatton said.  This pleased Marshall.
“We had considered giving up the program a few years ago, because we didn’t know if kids even used the paper dictionaries anymore,” he said.  Blevins and Gatton explained that the students learn to use both online and print versions.