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Pupils were lost for words when given dictionaries by the Mosgiel and Taieri Rotary Clubs.
Mosgiel club member Mike Lord said the clubs had given 224 dictionaries to year 4 pupils in Mosgiel, Outram, Lee Stream and Middlemarch in the past few weeks.
The project was in its second year and 259 dictionaries were given last year, he said.
''Rotarians believe it's important kids learn to read and write,'' Mr Lord said.
Members gave 40 dictionaries to pupils at Elmgrove School in Mosgiel on Thursday and received thank-you letters from pupils and parents.
For some pupils, the dictionary was the first book they had owned.
Many children leafed through their book, captivated by illustrations of items including helicopters and missiles.
''They find all the things that spin their wheels pretty quickly,'' Mr Lord said.