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This is a proven club service project completed each year by over 200 clubs nationwide. These Q & A, prepared by our owner and chair - Scott Allen,  are based on many years of program operations and asked the most often. We trust these questions and their answers will be helpful. 

Who runs this program?

Why was project started?

Our Club already does the paperback dictionary project.

What are the key points?

How do we fund project?

What is our service area?

But we have members who want to sponsor our project.

Can we use grant funds?

I can't ask someone for a $100.

Why is there a deadline? Can we order anytime?  Will you ship anytime?

Is this deadline firm?  Can I send money later?

Why do the dictionaries cost so much?

What do we charge these students?

Is this dictionary approved in my school district?

Why distribute to 3rd grade students?  Can we furnish to other grades?

Can I go to Scholastic International direct or a local bookstore?

Why does the price change each year?

Can we purchase more dictionaries and receive a greater discount?

Can we purchase dictionaries for our schools?

Can PTA, PTO or school parents groups cover this cost and order?

What service organization can purchase?

We're a local business and no service club is in our area.  Can we purchase?

Why distribute in December?

WHY do we have to prepay?  Will we get invoiced?

Do we have to use your label?

Why is the club Story so important?

Can we change order?

Can we cancel?

School will not allow us time to tell the our story in the classroom.

School will not allow us to distribute, they want to do it themselves.

Should dictionaries stay in the classroom during the school year?

Why is the dictionary not available in Spanish?  Can we get a book with Spanish and English?

Our children are well off or rich and do not need a dictionary?

Synergistic growth inside our service clubs, what do you mean?

How are these dictionaries shipped?

I didn't receive my full order?

I want to talk to a real person to ask questions!

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Who runs this program?

            A:  The program is operated and guided by Rotary's Four-way test and their motto of Service above Self.  The program is a for profit Colorado company owned by the Dictionary Project LLC.  The program was opened to all from the very start in 2001 and low costs have been maintained.  The Dictionary Project receives a small handling charge from each book to cover operational costs.  Forming a non-profit corp would increase costs so has not been done.

Why was project started?

            A:  As a marketing tool for your local service club!  Our project's founder is a marketing expert who was searching for a way to market his service club long term to young people to increase future membership.  The program has provided far more benefits than ever expected.  Each time these students open their very own dictionary they will remember a bit of the story shared with them during distribution.

Our Club already does the paperback dictionary project.

            A:  Great, you have proven the project, now PLEASE consider moving to the next level and provide the WOW with color pictures and a lasting memory of your service club with our hard cover dictionary.  Proven to be used by students far longer as they continue into high school and college this book is considered their very own book!  Another key point is to consider this hard cover dictionary as a marketing tool for future members to your service club.

What are the key points?

            A:  OWNERSHIP - Often the first very own book received by these students!   Children's literacy, Sharing the clubs story on Community Service, a long-term marketing tool for your club and synergistic growth inside your club.

            A:  HANDS ON local service project for your members!  Much needed by many clubs today.  Encourage ALL of your members and families to participate.  Their ownership of this project will guarantee success to themselves and to the future of your local club.

How do we fund the project?

            A:  Service clubs have proven you have ready and willing non-club business sponsors ready to cover full cost of program in your own communities.  These businesses have the opportunity to market to young families in a school district with this gift.  It is a lasting gift so will be used many times and provide numerous impressions.  Grants may be available but we hope you will use these funds for other important club projects. (see question below about grants)

What is our service area?

            A:  THINK BIG.  Think about multiple counties versus just one school, one school district or your city.  Please include charter and private schools too.  Remember your teachers too.

But we have members who want to sponsor our project.


            A:  Great, let them.  The original project was designed to not go to the well of our current members and allow others to partner with our local club.  Many members have a business that will benefit from this sponsorship for business reasons and should do so.

Can we use grant funds?

            A:  Sure it is your project.  However why not save these funds for other important club projects?  Our club have proven over and over the ease of finding business partners to sponsor this project in full.

I can't ask someone for a $100.

            A:  The problem is to NOT asking for much more.  Add value, if you need $450-$50,000 to cover your whole project ask one business partner to be your exclusive sponsor.   At what level would you like to partner?  Or ask at what level can you support?

Why is there a deadline?  Can we order anytime?  Will you ship anytime?

            A:  Our project is a major effort of volunteers.  We run this program during a 90-day window each year.  Deadline is September 24 and books are shipped early November direct to each club.  Orders are accepted and welcomed year round but not shipped until November.

Is this deadline firm?  Can I send money later?

            A:  Yes, our deadline is firm unless we approve other arrangements.  Full payment is required prior to deadline.

Why do the dictionaries cost so much?  

            A:  This book is a HARD-COVER Scholastic Children's Dictionary worth $19.99, MADE IN AMERICA, and includes Fedex delivery and a club label to your club.  Our publisher furnishes us a highly discounted price for our program since we as service clubs agree to furnish these books to individual students free of charge.

What do we charge these students?

            A:  The dictionary is distributed free to each of them.  However you should charge students three things:  Require a big smile, Ask student to introduce themselves to you and give you a firm handshake.  THANK YOU'S are always nice too!

Is this dictionary approved in my school district?

            A: Yes, to date our dictionary has been approved in every school system.  Even though dictionary is distributed free to students, schools may not allow you time in classrooms unless dictionary is on their approved list.

Why distribute to 3rd grade students?  Can we furnish to other grades?

            A:  The project has proven again and again 3rd grade is best.  3rd grade is when word mechanics are taught in the second half of the school year.  3rd grade is also when students take ownership of their personal items - it's mine!   Again, this is your project, other grades always welcomed.

Can I go to Scholastic International direct or a local bookstore?

            A:  You are free to purchase from any source you choose.  However you will not be allowed to purchase at our USA Dictionary project price.

Why does the price change each year?

            A:  We must project prices 9-12 months prior to our order deadline based on book cost, freight costs and projected fuel surcharges and labels for clubs to budget for project.   The firm price for project will be posted in late August.  The price will be fair to all concerned and cover all costs.

Can we purchase more dictionaries and receive a greater discount?

            A:  No, we purchase these dictionaries at an extremely discounted price and share this discount with all clubs equally.  We all pay the same price.  Is it fair to all concerned?

Can we purchase dictionaries for our schools?

            A:  A few extras for for the library is OK.  However, our agreement with publisher is to provide dictionaries to individual students and teachers at no cost.

Can PTA, PTO or school parents groups cover this cost and order?

            A:  Absolutely as long as dictionaries are provided to every student at no cost.  We would prefer a local service club to partner with these groups and share the their story.

We're a service organization can we purchase?

            A: Yes, as long as you understand these dictionaries are for individual distribution free of charge to these students.

We're a local business and a service club is not in our area.  Can we purchase?

            A:  Yes, as long as you understand these dictionaries are for individual distribution free of charge to these students.

Why distribute in December?

            A:  Sadly Christmas is not celebrated in schools - just the Holiday Season.  However these students in the most part will understand this is a Christmas Gift!  Plus this is the season to tie into Community Service and giving back to our communities.

WHY do we have to prepay?  Will we get invoiced?  

            A:  This is a $500,000 annual project and Dictionary Project LLC does not have the funds to cover these large costs.  Your order form will also serve as your invoice. The club check along with other required information on your order form is all we need.  A confirmation e-mail will be sent once your order and payment are received.

Do we have to use your label?

            A:  No, we provide these as a service.  If you know you will not use them please tell us not to print these for you with your order.

Why is the club story so important?

            A: Your service club is all about Community and Worldwide Service!  This project is a community service project for these students.  If you can encourage these students to encourage their families to give just $10 back to their community each Christmas over the next 4-6 years then your club has made a far bigger impact with this project.  Schools tell us of the increased giving in their schools during the pre holiday student collections - Care and Share, Food Drives, Mitten or clothing drives - Often led by these 3rd graders.

Can we change order?  

            A:  Yes, prior to September 24th.  Please order 3-5 boxes extra for your needs - students will pop up.

Can we cancel?

            A:  Prior to September 24th - Yes, full refund.  Prior to Oct. 15th - Less a $2.50 per book restocking fee.  Following shipment - Sorry No refund.

School will not allow us time to tell the club's story in the classroom.

School will not allow us to distribute, they want to do it themselves.

            A:  We would suggest you not participate with this school district and move on.  Other area school districts in your area will welcome you.

Should dictionaries stay in the classroom during the school year?

            A:  Absolutely NOT.  Remember ownership is a very key point of this project. Since this is students very own dictionary, the student should be able to take this book back and forth to school.  Another key point is that parents and siblings will witness the use of this dictionary at home.  This also allows this dictionary to become a focal point for word knowledge in the home.  Seeing this quality book has a tremendous impact on the parents, thus your service club and this project.

Why is the dictionary not available in Spanish?  Can we get a book with Spanish and English?

            A:  We have chosen not to provide any other selection due to purchase quantities and distribution issues.  Also many school districts or school boards will not allow you to provide students a non-English book due to backlash from public.  Many Hispanic parents demand their own students to receive an English only dictionary.  This dictionary will be used by the extended family too in many homes.

Our children are well off or rich and do not need a dictionary?  

            A:  Sadly these children have yet to receive their first very own book too.  Again project was started as a marketing tool for future members in your local area!!!  We invite you to cover your service area and THINK BIG.

Synergistic growth inside our service clubs, what do you mean?

            A:  Again a proven project.  When your members see those toothless smiles of those 3rd graders, members will demand to do project again and again.  Having those members speak to the whole club will encourage others to get involved.  A Great project for those older retired members to take leadership, lead but involve the whole club.  Clubs who participate have become even more active in their own communities and the world.   The stories we receive each year are touching but all say the same - Why didn't we do this project sooner.  Participating clubs are our best testimonials.

How are these dictionaries shipped?

            A: Shipped by FedEx.  Each case of books shipped separately.  Each box or case contains 6 books and weigh 27 pounds each.  TOTAL CASE ORDER may be delivered over two or more days. PLEASE check your label and count your cases.  Larger orders may be shipped palletize by FedEx and require a shipping dock location for receipt.  This allows project to maximize freight discounts with FedEx and allows all clubs to receive a greatly discounted freight rate.  Please note on order form that clubs will be billed for any extra charges incurred for normal delivery.

Expect your delivery between Oct 30 - Nov 15th.   Please do not call asking for shipping or tracking information.

I didn't receive my full order?

            A:  WAIT for a full seven business days for your complete order from 1st date of delivery in early November.  If missing cases, please send us an e-mail to usadictionary@comcast.net. Your package of labels will come from Colorado Springs via US Mail prior to your book shipment.

I want to talk to a real person to ask questions!

            A:  We welcome your question and strive to answer them in this forum.  E-mail is preferred and will be returned in 24 hours - usadictionary@comcast.net.  However you may contact  Scott Allen - 719.338.7939 but please remember we're in the Mountain Time Zone when you call.

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A: If not please send us a note at usadictionary@comcast.net

Thank You for reading - PLEASE send us your clubs story.

























The greatest LOCAL hands-on community service project ever....just not the only one.