Dawson county students were paid a visit by a local literacy group last week.
The Reading Education Association of Dawson County, or R.E.A.D., visited Riverview and Dawson County middle schools to hand out thesauruses to every student in eighth grade.
"As eighth graders, you get your own personal thesaurus," said Sandy Lipkowitz, R.E.A.D. executive director. "This wonderful book will give you all sort of words to help you with your upcoming writing tests."
R.E.A.D. is a nonprofit advocacy group for family literacy services that works with and within the local educational facilities to promote literacy to children, adults and any age in between in Dawson County.
The thesauruses are given to complement the dictionaries that are given to Dawson County students in the third grade.
Also on hand to speak with the students was Dawson County Sheriff's Office Maj. Jeff Johnson.
"Right now, I am currently assigned to run the jail. The most important thing I can tell you is that we have a jail full of grown men and women that were, at one time, sitting in your place," Johnson said. "They are there because they made poor decisions in their life."
Johnson charged the middle school students to make the right choices in life.
"These choices start at home and with education," he said. "Do the very best that you can. Stay in school and apply yourself in every area of your life so that you can get educated and become whatever you want."
Following the presentation at the middle schools, R.E.A.D. also presented thesauruses to inmates at the Dawson County jail who are working on getting their GED.
"Recently, we've had one graduate and another who is currently working on theirs," Lipkowitz said. "We hope that by giving these books to kids early, it will help prevent this future for them, but at the same time, we want to help those out that have already made these choices in life."