Early Literacy Effort: Bonnell donates dictionaries to local 3rd graders


Bonnell Aluminum Plant Manager Rick Miller and Western Elementary School Principal Denise Pigatt lead students' dictionary games in Rebecca Hand’s third grade class at Western Elementary School. Pictured from left are students Ty Tenney, Rosie Shepherd, Alexis Gaston, Leighton McClendon and Lexie Buchanan.

From Staff Reports
Employees of the Newnan’s Bonnell Aluminum company visited all 19 Coweta County elementary schools last week, personally delivering more than 1,600 Merriam-Webster dictionaries to students in third grade classes.
The Newnan company has sponsored the county-wide donation, which is intended to promote literacy and academic skills among Coweta County elementary students, for 11 years.
“We appreciate Bonnell for their generosity to our students and their partnership with our school system,” said Superintendent of Schools Steve Barker.
Bonnell Plant Manager Rick Miller and Bonnell Senior Assistant Operations Manager Mike Caldwell kicked off the visits to the county’s elementary schools at Western Elementary School on Monday.
“Supporting our schools and the students is very important for Bonnell,” Miller said. “It’s also a lot of fun for us to get out and visit classrooms.”
Barker, Western Principal Denise Pigatt and Coweta County School System Curriculum Director Karen Barker visited Western’s three third-grade classes – taught by teachers Mandy Binion, Rebecca Hand and Sandi Thompson – with Miller and Campbell.
“I know you will get a lot of use from these dictionaries,” Superintendent Barker told students. “And I hope you go home tonight and tell your parents that Bonnell gave these to you.”

Miller said many of the company’s employees delivered books to their children or grandchildren’s schools. Each third-grader in the Coweta County School System received a dictionary, with a total of 1,630 dictionaries donated throughout the week.

During their deliveries, Bonnell employees played word look-up games with students in each classroom at the schools, awarding B-shaped pencils to the students with the quickest dictionary skills.

At Western, Miller also described Bonnell’s business to students, explaining how the Newnan manufacturer extrudes aluminum parts for companies and products across the country.

Bonnell’s dictionary donation has been in place since 2001, and Miller pointed out that many of the students who have received dictionaries from the company have moved on to high school or graduated.

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