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California Dictionary Project

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Literacy, Remedial Reading & Encouragement, Unknown

Mission: To give dictionaries to grade school students

Programs: Donation of 18,456 dictionaries to 3rd grade school students in california public schools

Donor & Volunteer Advisory

This organization's nonprofit status may have been revoked or it may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

Community Stories

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Jennifer R.


Rating: 4

I volunteered for the California Dictionary Project a few years ago during their Dictionary Day event. We were all assigned different elementary schools to visit in the Bay Area and we got to visit a classroom and distribute free dictionaries to the students. We also go to lead some activities with the students to help them learn how to use a Dictionary. It was a very organized event and I had adequate training and instructions on what to do when I got to the school. I had a great time interacting with the kids and seeing them get excited about their brand new dictionaries.


Rating: 3

I think what CDP does for the 3rd graders in our surrounding communities is a great thing. The program will equip our young students with the tools they need in order to meet higher standards of literacy. CDP should expand outside to other low-income communities in the states surrounding California.

Barry G.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am one of the founding board members. I read a review in the Wall Street Journal about Mary French and how she started a Dictionary Project in South Carolina. It sounded like a great idea and I thought, why not start a similar project in California? It turned out several other people saw the same article and we all contacted Mary independently. She put us in touch with each other and that's how we started the California Dictionary Project. This was in April 2002. We started in Oakland because we felt it really needed some help and our President happened to live there. One of the most interesting experiences I had that year was attending one of the Dictionary Day presentations for third graders, and one of the partners from my law firm was there, because his son was one of the students! Small world! Since 2002, we've handed out over 100,000 books to over 25 districts. It's a continuing struggle to keep this project going and fundraise for the purchase of the books so any help you can give is GREATLY appreciated.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first joined as a Board Fellow 3 years ago in hopes to learn more about the nonprofit sector. The first hand experience I had handing out dictionaries to several schools in Oakland inspired me to continue with the organizations mission - to improve literacy rates. I am now a Board Member and hope to be able to share my positive experience with the community . Since my involvement, I have seen the organization expand its reach to Southern California and truly become a California Dictionary Project. I hope the organization continues to grow so that one day every third grader in CA is able to have a dictionary.


Board Member

Rating: 5

The importance of literacy on future success cannot be overstated. The California Dictionary Project recognizes this and it's very hard-working Board does all it can to get dictionaries into the hands of as many 3rd graders as funding allows. Nearly 100% of donations goes toward purchasing dictionaries, so your contribution is direct and immediate! Please help CDP grow and reach out to even more children around California. Today a reader, tomorrow a leader!