The Bonnell Aluminum company donated dictionaries to all of Coweta’s third grade students this week, a continuation of a tradition begin by the local company to support literacy and schools in Coweta County.
Bonnell employees are visiting all Coweta County elementary schools this week, personally delivering Merriam-Webster dictionaries to 1660 students 80 third grade classes throughout the county. About two-thirds of schools were visited Monday by employees from the Newnan plant, and the other third are being visited on Tuesday.
It is the 15th year the Newnan company has sponsored the county-wide donation.
On Monday, Bonnell Plant Manager Bob Gregory and Human Resources head Brad Landreau visited Elm Street Elementary School to deliver the dictionaries.
Superintendent Steve Barker, Elm Street Principal Christi Hildebrand and Curriculum Director Karen Barker visited the school’s 3rd grade classrooms with Gregory and Landreau, and delivered dictionaries to Mary Elizabeth Crews, Cindy Ulinski and Cami Sullivan’s students.
Landreau brought along a loop of extruded aluminum produced at the Newnan plant that a company uses to make bicycle tires, to show students what the 65-year-old Newnan company makes. “We make aluminum parts to a lot of the things in this classroom,” he said.
Landreau has delivered dictionaries to elementary schools around the county for as long as the company has donated them to third graders, and has met many middle and high school students who use their copies. He told students that met a young lady two years ago who still had her dog-eared dictionary.
“She was in her second year of college,” said Landreau. “We had given it to her in the third grade and she still had it and still used it.”
That is the goal, said Gregory – to give students a gift that will support their learning for years to come.
“It’s important to us at Bonnell that students and our community’s schools do well, and it has become an important thing for our employees to do each year,” said Gregory. “Our employees enjoy it as much as the students do.”
Gregory and Landreau led word look-up games with students in each classroom at the schools, handing out Bonnell ‘B’-shaped pencils to the students with the quickest dictionary skills.
“We always appreciate Bonnell for doing this each year, and the students absolutely love it,” said Elm Street’s Hildebrand. “The students who have older siblings know to look forward to it when they become third graders. It’s become a rite of passage.”
Office of Public Information, Coweta County School System