Rotary Dictionary 4 Life

dictionaryThe Isle of Man Rotary Clubs are very pleased to announce that they have joined forces with the Department for Education and Children in offering dictionaries to all Year 6 pupils attending Island primary schools for the next 3 years.

Approximately 900 dictionaries are being distributed this year to the 32 primary schools.

Rotary Dictionary 4 Life

The Dictionary 4 Life project in the Isle of Man from this year provides dictionaries to 10-year-old children as an aid to personal literacy and to help develop their facility with the English language. This project is a collaboration between the Island Rotary Clubs, Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland (RIBI), the Isle of Man Department for Education and Children, and Usborne Publishing Ltd. Improving literacy is a cornerstone within the efforts of Rotary across the World.

Following on from 2 highly successful years where the Rotary Club of Douglas provided dictionaries to a single Douglas primary school in 2015 and thereafter to all 12 Douglas primary schools in 2016, all the Island Rotary Clubs have come together in collaboration with the Department for Education and Children to now provide dictionaries across the whole Island. We are therefore pleased to be able to offer a copy of the Rotary Dictionary 4 Life to all Year 6 pupils leaving at the end of this current school year in July and in addition for the following 2 years. This is a gift from the Rotary Clubs and the Department for Education and Children.

How will it benefit a child?

It is already appreciated the value of dictionaries even in this age of the Internet but the following are the key benefits, which have been identified during the roll out of this project:

–         using dictionaries efficiently children explore spellings, meanings and derivations for example by using alphabetical order, abbreviations and definitions with understanding.

–         it helps to develop autonomy and confidence in the learner — one of the core goals of education.

–         it promotes books and the printed word.

–         it will be a “possession” for the child.

–         it will enable both first and second language users to extend and improve the accuracy of their vocabulary.

–         it should help children with their homework in secondary education.

–         in some homes it may also form a reference work for all the family.

What is it?

The Usborne Illustrated UK Standard edition Dictionary 4 Life comprises 1,000 illustrations, 10,000 entries and 20,000 definitions printed in full colour on leaflet grade paper from a sustainable forest and contains 288 pages. It has a user’s guide, parts of speech, writing English hints, English Today and a history of our language and recommended web sites.

The UK Standard edition Dictionary 4 Life (D4L) has had extraordinary success in the 29 Districts of RIBI and beyond. The D4L promotes British English and encourages children to widen their vocabularies and improve their life chances.

D4L dictionaries have been distributed by over 500 Rotary clubs throughout RIBI and many overseas countries including, Jamaica, Mongolia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Zambia, Australia, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, India, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Canada.


Immediate Past President of the Rotary Club of Douglas President, Kevin Kneen, says he is extremely proud that all Island Clubs have come together to collaborate with the Department for Education and Children and been able to expand the number of pupils due to receive the D4L dictionaries, and hopes that the benefits will be seen for years to come.

Graham Cregeen MHK, Minister for Education and Children, expressed his gratitude to the Island’s Rotary Clubs for the generous gift.

He said: ‘Whether writing an essay or listening to the news, if children have a good grasp of words, they will be confident communicators, a skill that will stand them in good stead all their life.

‘Dictionaries not only explain what words mean and assist with spelling. They also help children understand where words have evolved from and how the language has developed, fostering their curiosity in the world.

‘I know children will cherish these beautiful books as they continue their learning journey to secondary school and beyond.’


Issued by:

Kevin Kneen MPHF

Immediate Past President

Rotary Club of Douglas


Contact address: ‘Jasmine Dene’, 21 Ballanard Road, Douglas, Isle of Man IM2 5HA.



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