"The Grange was founded on the idea to make sure children in rural areas received a good education," said Bruce Croucher, a retired Midlakes educator who is a member of the Grange. "It's always been centered on education, not only for children but also adults on farms. I know some of the students are really excited about receiving it. It may be the first book they’ve ever owned."
The “Words for Thirds” program is a nationwide initiative endorsed by the National Grange to encourage good reading habits and comprehension skills. The Clifton Springs Grange supports the effort by delivering and raising funds to purchase the books.
The local Grange has been delivering the dictionaries to Midlakes students for about 12 years now. Besides definitions, the dictionaries list American presidents, the 50 states, and the world’s longest word: A 1,909-letter behemoth that’s too long to spell out.
Sharon Croucher, a retired Midlakes librarian, showed the students how to use the dictionaries during the visit and encouraged them to write their names in the inside cover to prevent inadvertent losses.
"This is one that will probably help you right up through middle school," she told students.
The Grange delivered the dictionaries to students taught by Natalie Dreis, Ashlee Upchurch, Christi Williams, Jessie Moringello, Karen Busby and Ali Estes.