Program donating more than 8,500 dictionaries across state, nearly 1,000 to Milwaukee
The AT&T Pioneers – AT&T’s employee and retiree volunteer organization – along with State Senator Lena Taylor and State Representative Barbara Toles presented more than 100 dictionaries to third graders at Craig Montessori Elementary School and the 53rd Street School in Milwaukee as part of a statewide effort to improve childhood literacy and student reading scores.
As part of its 5th annual “Dictionaries for Third Graders” program, the Pioneers are donating more than 8,500 dictionaries to students at 71 elementary schools around the state, including nearly 1,000 books to 17 Milwaukee schools. The program included a presentation where an AT&T Pioneer, Senator Taylor and Representative Toles had the students write their names in the dictionaries and explain what information they can find in the dictionaries and how to use them.
“This program is exciting because it not only introduces third graders to the dictionary, but it also correlates with a new MPS initiative designed to improve student literacy and reading scores,” said Bridgette Hood, Principal of the 53rd Street School. “Thanks to the AT&T Pioneers, our students will now own their first ever personal dictionary. With this wonderful tool, children will learn vocabulary development, word pronunciation, how to compare and contrast words, and the different meanings of words.”
“Nothing is more important for a strong Wisconsin future than ensuring a quality education for all of our children,” said Senator Taylor. “These dictionaries will go a long way in helping our young people excel in school and have a bright future.”
“Investing in our kids and their education is critical to long-term economic growth in our state,” said Representative Toles. “Our children must have access to the proper tools and resources to help them succeed in the classroom, and these dictionaries will help further their education.”
“Dictionaries for Third Graders” is part of AT&T Cares, an expanded volunteer initiative created to encourage employees to get involved in community service that is meaningful to them and their communities, to create change, and to stay engaged. With the Pioneers’ strong commitment and historical success in volunteerism, they are guiding the initiative and helping employees find volunteer opportunities that best match their interests with community service needs.
“AT&T is committed to helping advance the education of our young people,” said Tricia Conway, Director of External Affairs for AT&T Wisconsin and a local Pioneer. “We are proud to join forces with Senator Taylor, Representative Toles, Milwaukee Public Schools and educators throughout the state to give students the tools they need to develop into the future leaders of tomorrow.”
AT&T Cares provides employees with an interactive internal Web portal that helps them identify their “Volunteer Personality” through a fun, easy quiz and then links them to volunteerism options that best align with their personality type. The goal of the initiative is to immediately increase employee community service engagement and, over the long term, make a sustained increase in volunteerism hours.
The AT&T Pioneers are planning a series of “Dictionaries for Third Graders” events at 71 schools throughout the state this fall, including schools in Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Kenosha, Oshkosh, Appleton, Green Bay, Eau Claire, Janesville, Palmyra, and Beaver Dam.