The idea for the Dictionary Project began in 1992 . Since that time, more than 17,000,000 dictionaries have been given out including the 2,397,306 given out in 2011 alone.

Rotarians across the country and in Hawaii have been donating dictionaries to elementary schools since 2002-2003, with a total thus far of 7,404,618 dictionaries. Each year Rotarians as a whole give more than one million dictionaries. In Hawaii nearly 18,000 are given out each year.


The Literacy Chair has worked to simplify the dictionary ordering process by creating a one page form (see Files listing on the left) which can be filled out and sent to the dictionary project website by e-mail. A file for ordering the 4 Way Test labels from the Literacy Chair, which go into each dictionary, is also available (see Files listing on the left). There is additionally an Avery Label making file which uses the Rotary Club of Hilo Bay as an example of a small label which can be placed at the bottom of the 4 Way Test label to identify the donating club. This file uses Avery 5261 Laser label sheets, with 20 1"x4" labels per page. The file can be edited with MS Word  (see download listing on the left).

Please note that because the dictionaries are being sent by Media Mail in order to cut down on expenses, the dictionaries will take 6-8 weeks to arrive in Hawaii from the time of your order. Please also note that you should check your order after two weeks to make sure that it has been sent out!!!

Based on several years experience with the Dictionary Project, we've developed a generalized approach which is listed in the downloads section for the possible benefit of those chairs new to the Dictionary Project.

Wondering which club did what schools last year? Look in the downloads section and see.

Additional downloadable files give examples of what donors might wish to do in the classroom, as well as a variety of other useful documents.