Local ladies’ literacy crusade educates parish youth, provides learning tools to students
RWSC member Leslie Cooper is pictured with Mimosa Park Elementary school students Harley Wiley, Peyton Fabre and Faith Coger. Mimosa was one of the schools to benefit from the literacy project.
The group used a grant received from the Louisiana Federation of Republican Women to bestow upon the students free dictionaries as part of a statewide “Dictionary Project.”
“Members of our organization went to every school with a third grade class and presented an introduction to the dictionary and its use in each class,” said Rita Carlson, club president.
“The children were excited about the dictionaries because they contained many special features such a listing the longest word in the English language, facts about each state, sign language positions and a copy of the United States constitution.”
The LFRW adopted the project as their major literacy campaign across the state, allowing the RWSC to participate in their community.
These special dictionaries also include multiplication tables, the Declaration of Independence, facts about the United States and measurement tables.
The RWSC has a long history of volunteerism. For years, the organization has supplied and served refreshments for the Memorial Day service at the courthouse and also for the Veteran’s Day celebration.
“We have done other service projects such as sending phone cards and supplies to troops, and sending soccer balls to troops in Iraq to share with the children there,” said Carlson.
After Hurricane Katrina, the group took treats to the National Guard troops who served our local area, and provided local pediatricians with mothering packets.
“For several years we prepared a packet for local doctors to give to the mother of newborns in the area,” added Carlson. “In the packet was a handmade bib, several books and a new parent guide on how to read to young children.”
Annually, the RWSC also purchases Mamie Eisenhower books for the local library, helping to promote Americanism.
“We are in the process right now of collecting the number of hours each of our members volunteers each year,” said Carlson. “This number is then sent to the state organization for consideration for an award. Our members seem to prefer educational projects.”
The RWSC hope that there are enough dictionaries left from this year’s project to be able to do it again in the fall, so all of next year’s third graders will get the dictionary early in the year.
“New projects usually happen when a member sees a need not being served, so e never know when something new will be proposed,” Carlson said. “Right now, some of our members have talked of doing some kind of flag project, coordinating it with parish beautification. We are very pushy about patriotism and supporting our troops.”
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