Feature Story

10th Anniversary of the Abilene Rotary Club’s Third Grade Dictionary Project

Each year since 2006, the Abilene Rotary Club has presented a 860-page, hardcover, color photo illustrated dictionary to every Third Grade student in the Abilene, Chapman and Solomon school districts. In the last ten years, these valuable reference tools have been given to over 2500 area students, as well as their teachers.

Literacy is one of Rotary International’s major avenues of service to the world and the Abilene Rotary Club believes the dictionary project is a wonderful way to encourage reading among the young people in Abilene and the surrounding towns.

 Each guest speaker at Rotary meetings signs a bookplate that is placed inside the front cover of a dictionary.  The student also signs the book plate when they receive the dictionary, demonstrating it is theirs to keep forever. According to Abilene Rotarian Amy Hoch-Altwegg, “Handing out the dictionaries at the schools is a moving experience for members of the club.  For some of these kids, this is their very first hardcover book and they actually hug it and cannot believe it is theirs to keep.  The smile on their faces says it all.”

McKinley School Principal Tom Schwartz said students are now seen reading in their dictionaries during indoor recess when it is too cold to play outside, intrigued by all the great photos and information in the books.   When Rotary distributed the books, one student was heard to say, “Man this is a great day ‘cause now I have one just like my brother got two years ago!”

Rotary’s theme this year is “Be a Gift to the World.”  The Abilene Rotary Club plans to continue this gift-giving long into the future.

Rotary Team Leadership Summit

-Due to episodes of ventricular fibrillation, I went to the Kansas Heart Hospital for an outpatient heart cath on Monday,  April 27, 2015, with the idea that I had blockage of the coronary arteries.   Because they were not the cause, the next day I had a pace maker and a de-fib device implanted.   Had that solved the problem, I would have been able to attend the District Conference.  However, even with medication (three different tried), that did not solve the problem.  On Monday, May 4, 2015, I was bussed to the KU Hospital, underwent procedures in the heart on Tuesday (4 hours) and Thursday (7 hours) for ablation (cauterization) of the areas that caused my heart to go wild.   That, plus drugs, has so far solved the problem.   I was released May 13,  2015, and am recovering far too slowly.    I regret having missed the District Conference, and that I will not be able to attend the Sao Paulo conference and the WASRAG  pre-conference.    I believe that I will be ready to proceed as DG, even though about 8 weeks of planning have been side tracked.  We are expanding our District Leadership Base and will build upon what Roger has innovated to Grow Rotary in District 5670.


The first Rotary Team 5670 Leadership Summit is scheduled for Saturday, June 27, 2015 at the Grand Ballroom of the McPherson Opera House.    Your family is also invited, with Children’s Reading time at the McPherson Public Library, McPherson Water Park available, and Tours of Lindsborg Art Scene and the McPherson Opera House for those interested.   For those who enjoy theater, the McPherson Theater Guild will present Cinderella that evening at the Opera House Theater.


To respect your valuable time, we are combining the Installation, Foundation Seminar, Membership Seminar,  and Training/Strategic Planning  Assembly into a one action packed day.    That means there will not be the traditional fall seminar for Foundation/Membership.  Those who did not attend PETS will receive their PETS Materials.   Theme Banners will be distributed at that time.   AREA Governors will caucus with their assigned Clubs.


Agenda will be sent at least a week in advance.


Thank you for your Service Above Self Commitment this upcoming Rotary Year. 

Mike (Mills, DGE District 5670)

Dear Panama Travelers:
I wanted to share the good news that The Rotary Foundation has approved our District 5670 Global Grant in the amount of $42,000+ for stove and latrines for 100 families in the Ngobe Bugle Comarca of Panama.
We saw these improvements to existing stoves and latrine first-hand back in March during our trip and soon the 100 families in Panama will be living a healthier life because of Rotary!
District Governor Michael T. Mills and Leonor

District Governor Michael T. Mills and Leonor

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