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November 1, 2011 > Dictionaries, thesauruses and an essay contest, too!

Dictionaries, thesauruses and an essay contest, too!

Submitted By Rick La Plante

Continuing a tradition he started six years ago, a local real estate agent is making certain that every third-grade student in the New Haven Unified School District has a dictionary. For the second year in a row, Sunil Sethi and his partners are also supplying the students with thesauruses.

And this year, Mr. Sethi - with the help of fellow agent and former New Haven teacher Steven Fong - also is inviting students to participate in an essay contest.

"We're very happy with the progress the District, teachers, and students have made in raising schools' scores, but this year we want kids to start thinking more about their future," said Mr. Sethi, who will sponsor "The Year 2021 Essay Contest."

"We want to encourage kids to think with their parents/guardians and write an essay about what they want to do when they grow up. The year 2021 is the year this year's class of third-graders will graduate from high school."

All students who submit an essay will receive a recognition award and the essays will be published in a compilation that will be available online and offered to be displayed in each classroom.

With help from a handful of partners, Mr. Sethi purchased more than 1,000 dictionaries and more than 1,000 thesauruses that he will be delivering to students at each of New Haven Unified's seven elementary schools.

"If you want to raise a home's value, you have to play with the following parameters: improve school scores, improve the neighborhood (reduce crime and improve neighborhood cosmetics), and improve the home's condition. Only one of these is in your control, but the other two are more important factors," Mr. Sethi said, "so it makes a lot of sense for homeowners to focus on helping students do better in school.

Partnering again with Mr. Sethi this year are Mr. Fong and local insurance agent Kristie Turner, who "loved delivering the books so much last year, she committed to sponsoring for 2011 immediately after delivering the 2010 dictionaries," Mr. Sethi said. New partners are Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer, whose District includes New Haven and Risha Kilaru of Prospect Mortgage.

For more information contact Rick La Plante at: rlaplante@nhusd.k12.ca.us.

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