December 16th is Dictionary Day

We'll be passing out dictionaries and thesauruses to all the 3rd graders in
New Haven Unified School District on Oct. 11, 2011.

This is the 6th year we've done this. It's our way of helping kids do better
in school, with the hope as standard test scores rise, so will home values
in the community.

This year we'll also be sponsoring an Essay contest title: "The Year 2021
Essay Contest"

In the year 2021, this year's 3rd graders will graduate from high school,
and we won't all of them to spend a little time writing a 1 paragraph to one
page essay on what they want to do when they grow up and what they need to
do to be able to do that.

Dictionary Day October 16 is next week.

Dictionary Day celebrates the birthday of Noah Webster, the writer of the
first American dictionary. Noah Webster, a lawyer from Hartford,
Connecticut, believed that American schoolchildren needed their own reading
and spelling books, so that all Americans could learn to spell words the
same way, with their own unique American spellings. He first wrote A
Grammatical Institute of the English Language, a reading textbook used in
American schools for 100 years. When he was 43 years old, he started writing
his dictionary. He finished 27 years later in 1828, and it included over
70,000 words, including some words such as "skunk" and "squash," which
weren't in English dictionaries. He also standardized American spellings of
words such as "color." All over the United States, many generous volunteers
will be delivering dictionaries to children this month in honor of Noah's

- sunil