Rector Students Helping Other Students

Thursday, January 30, 2014
RHS Future Teacher of America members Katie Bowers and Brice Westbrook are among the high school students who helped provide student dictionaries to RES third graders. Students shown here are, from left: Front--Holden Linam, Ethan Simmons, Carly Rodden and Landon Haywood. Back--Ian Exley, Bryor Baugh, Katie Bowers, Karah Hayes, Bethany McNeely, Audrey Schimming, Brice Westbrook and Brett Fair.

The Rector High School Future Teachers of America may have goals of educating young students in the future, but the group took a sizable stride in such a direction Tuesday by providing special gifts to each third grader at Rector Elementary. Each third grader received a new student dictionary purchased with funds provided by the RHS FTA.

The dictionaries are more than just a standard collection of definitions. While word meanings and origins are included in the helpful book, the educational guide also includes a wealth of information in multiple areas, including the United Constitution, Declaration of Independence, historical data on each of the 50 states, a measurement guide, guide to the solar system, Presidential biographies and more. The dictionaries are designed to help students become better writers and readers, while encouraging creative thinking. The project behind presenting the student dictionaries selects third graders annually as this age group is considered to be among the dividing line between students who are learning to read and those now reading to learn, i.e. relying more upon their own reading skills in curriculum.

While the presentation of student dictionaries to each child in the third grade classes is not new at RES, this is the first year the project has been sponsored by the FTA. A local civic organization had donated funds for the dictionaries in years past, however the group is no longer active. When another supporting group was sought, FTA sponsor Constance Johnston met with RES counselor Julia Wyss to meet the financial need.

"Ms. Connie Johnston and I worked together this year to make the project work," Wyss said. "I appreciate her help in making this possible."

Through the involvement of FTA, the younger students are able to learn more about the importance of education through interactions with a group of high school students which serves as an intermediary group between peers and teachers, a sort of "meeting in the middle."

With each third grade student receiving their own copy, the dictionaries will serve as a beneficial guide for years to come.

Those interested in learning more about the project, which is active at a national level, may visit

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