WABI TV5 Crew Visits PCES and GrowME

WABI GrowME 2015

Third graders at PCES were already pretty excited because Valley Grange volunteers and bookworms Mrs. Boomsma and Ms. Erwin were coming to help them make “dirt babies” as part of the GrowME Collaboration. But they became even more pumped when they saw WABI’s Caitlin Burchill and a camera operator headed their way. One teacher asked us to pop in and say “Hi” to the kids… and a third grader came rushing up to Cait with a quickly made card for the “wether woman” that said inside, “I love you!”

The resulting video can be viewed on the WABI TV 5 website.

GrowME is a collaboration between Valley Grange, PCSWCD (Piscataquis Soil and Water Conservation District) and UMaine Piscataquis County Extension to build a truly local program of agriculturally themed, hands on activities for kids led by local volunteers. This year’s volunteers included Grangers, Master Gardeners, 4-H Club Members, and community citizens interested in GrowingME, growing kids, and growing plants!

NIE Winning Ads Announced!

Third Grade winners Zachariah Demmer (1st), Olivia Richardson (2nd), Abrielle Kemp (3rd)

Third Grade winners Zachariah Demmer (1st), Olivia Richardson (2nd), Abrielle Kemp (3rd)

Nearly 100 third and fourth graders from Piscataquis Community Elementary School in Guilford were challenged to create an advertisement for Valley Grange as part of the annual “Newspapers in Education” program sponsored by the Piscataquis Observer. This is the seventh year the Grange has sponsored the program. Students have an opportunity to become “Honorary Assistant Publicity Directors” according to Walter Boomsma, Program and Publicity Director for Valley Grange. Under the direction of Art Teacher Jane Daniels students labored to produce ads that would promote the Grange and its programs.

Fourth Grade winners Eli Riitano (1st), Meriel Willey (2nd), Summer Nesbit (3rd)

Fourth Grade winners Eli Riitano (1st), Meriel Willey (2nd), Summer Nesbit (3rd)

The winning ads were featured during an assembly conducted at school by Boomsma on Friday, March 20 Boomsma pointed out “everyone who participated is winner” and the Grange is providing “thank you magnets you can use to hold your school papers on the fridge.” Boomsma also noted that the Grange was particularly pleased so many ads included a reading theme and dictionaries, reflecting the students’ appreciation for the Grange’s Bookworm and Words for Thirds Program. “Our goal with the kids is to create a love of reading and learning. These ads suggest we’re achieving it.”

Third Grade winners announced at the recent school assembly included Summer Nesbit (3rd), Olivia Richardson (2nd), and Zachariah Demmer (1st). Zachariah’s first place drawing suggested “Don’t be a snail, hurry on down to Valley Grange.” Fourth grade winners included Abrielle Kemp (3rd), Meriel Willey (2nd), and Eli Riitano (1st). Eli’s ad included a book being devoured by a book worm while a nearby apple was left uneaten.

All of the winners refused to give an acceptance speech with varying degrees of enthusiasm, but most were “media darlings” when interviewed and photographed by local reporter Mike Lange.

The ads selected as first place winners will appear in the Newspapers in Education supplement of the Piscataquis Observer on March 25th. In addition, winning ads are used on the Grange’s promotional material throughout the year.

Valley Grange Master Jim Annis noted that Valley Grange is happy to sponsor a number of programs at PCES and other schools in the area. “We just love being at the school,” he noted. “These kids are our future and they give us hope.”

2015 3-1

2015 4-1

April 2015 Bookworm Schedule

Reading is fun!A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.

–Neil Gaiman


Spring is in the air! And on the ground! What a great time to read! Mrs. Lander is in Florida this month… we’ll miss her!

Thursday, April 2 – Ms. Erwin will be at school to read, 8:30 AM

Tuesday, April 7 - Ms. Erwin will be at school to read, 9:30 AM

Thursday, April 9 - Mr. Boomsma will be at school to read, 8:30 AM

Tuesday, April 14 – Mr. Boomsma will be at school to read, 9:30 AM

Thursday, April 16 – Mr. Lange will be at school to read, 8:30 AM

Friday, April 17 – Bikes for Books Assembly and Drawings! 8 AM in the gym…

Friday, April 17 — Monthly Valley Grange Meeting – potluck supper at 6 PM, meeting at 7 PM.

April 20 – April 24 – Spring Vacation!

Tuesday, April 28 - Mrs. Kimball will be at school to read, 9:30 AM

Thursday, April 30 - Mr. Lange will be at school to read, 8:30 AM

March 2015 Bookworm Schedule

Reading is fun!Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

–Neil Gaiman


Hope you are keeping track of every book you read… this is a big month with lots of time to read and enter Bikes for Books.

You have to read! You have to! It makes the mind go awesome. It makes the mind go smart.

(attributed to a toddler)

Tuesday, March 3 – Mrs. Lander will be at school to read, 9:30 AM

Thursday, March 5 – Mrs. Lander will be at school to read, 8:30 AM

Tuesday, March 10 - Ms. Erwin will be at school to read, 9:30 AM

Thursday, March 12 - Mr Lange will be at school to read, 8:30 AM

Tuesday, March 17 – Mrs. Lander will be at school to read, 9:30 AM Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Thursday, March 19 – Mr. Boomsma will be at school to read, 8:30 AM

Friday, March 20 – Mr. Boomsma will be at morning assembly to announce the winning Newspapers in Education ads!

Friday, March 20 — Monthly Valley Grange Meeting – potluck supper at 6 PM, meeting at 7 PM.

Tuesday, March 24 - Mrs. Kimball will be at school to read, 9:30 AM

Wednesday, March 25 – Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the Piscataquis Observer and see the Newspapers in Education section!

Thursday, February 26 - Mr. Lange will be at school to read, 8:30 AM

Tuesday, March 31 – Ms. Erwin will be at school to read, 9:30 AM

Help a Hero

Troop SupportCommunity Service Director Mary Annis has been advised there is an acute shortage of disposable razors at Togus VA Center—so much so that our heroes are shaving every other day to conserve! (Is there a man among us who has not suffered the results of shaving with a dull razor? OW!) So, let’s see how many packages we can come up by our next meeting (February 20)! Bring ‘em to the meeting… or get them to someone who is coming. Janice is going to see if she can get the folks at the college to help out… what organizations are you involved in that would be willing to help? (I thought about linking this to Coups for Troops, but the idea of kids bringing razors to school doesn’t seem quite right!) If you aren’t coming to the meeting, give them to someone who is! There’s also a need for hairbrushes for the ladies… for some reason they have plenty of combs… This doesn’t seem to be something we need to create a program for… we just need to get it done! You can be a collection center… just get donations to the Grange Hall or Mary Annis… let’s see what we can do! Let’s get the word out and get collecting! Thanks!

 

February 2015 Bookworm Schedule

Reading is fun!A book is a dream you can hold in your hand.

–Neil Gaiman


Have you heard about Bikes for Books (B4B)? We hope so… if not, start keeping track of every book you read!

Tuesday, February 3 – Mrs. Kimball will be at school to read, 9:30 AM

Thursday, February 5 – Mr. Boomsma will be at school to read, 8:30 AM

Tuesday, February 10 - Ms. Erwin will be at school to read, 9:30 AM

Thursday, February 12 - Mr Lange will be at school to read, 8:30 AM

PCES Fifth Grade Band Concert tonight at 6 PM!

Monday, February 16 – Friday February 20 VACATION WEEK! Don’t take a vaction from reading!

Friday, February 16 — Monthly Valley Grange Meeting – potluck supper at 6 PM, meeting at 7 PM.

Tuesday, February 24 - Mrs. Kimball will be at school to read, 9:30 AM

Thursday, February 26 - Mrs Lander will be at school to read, 8:30 AM

GrowME 2015 Sprouts!

GrowME logoWhile it might be difficult to think about gardening and farming in mid-January, a group of volunteers are doing just that as they are preparing a fourth year of the GrowME program. The program is offered to K-3 teachers and schools in Piscataquis County and the surrounding areas. The program is organized by a collaboration between Valley Grange of Guilford, PCSWCD (Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District) and UMaine Piscataquis County Extension.

GrowME aims to utilize local volunteers who will work with teachers to schedule an agricultural activity in their classrooms during Maine Agriculture Week (March 24-28). Ana Bonstedt, Home Horticulture Coordinator for Piscataquis County UMaine Extension is particularly excited over the “hands on” aspect of the activities. “Thanks to our rural nature in Piscataquis County, we don’t have the ‘nature deficit’ that some more urban areas experience,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be offering our kids an opportunity to involve all their senses and get some hands on learning.”

Walter Boomsma, program director for Valley Grange agrees. One of his specialties is visiting second graders at PCES to make butter. “We have fun and the kids almost don’t realize they are learning–some have even asked for instructions and then made butter at home as a family activity.” Volunteers also conduct seed planting activities, apple tasting and create animal graphs. “We also spend some time just talking with the kids—many have chickens and gardens and it’s fun to share experiences.”

Boomsma notes that last year volunteers visited with over 60 classrooms and 800 kids “from Greenville to Dexter to Milo,” but says there should be no shortage of volunteers and resources thanks to the collaboration. “We’ve got master gardeners and farmers available through Extension Programs and PCSWCD includes partners and resources that are committed to good stewardship. Our continued goal is to keep this informal, local, and a true partnership between our schools, teachers, and volunteers. It’s not so much that we have a program to offer—it’s more about working together to make good use of our resources. Our volunteers will have the sort of agricultural experience and background to be especially relevant to students while providing insight into the importance of agriculture in our area.”

The group focuses on kindergarten through third grade but is willing to consider requests from teachers of other grades.

GrowME volunteers visit for about thirty minutes and work with students on a simple, grade appropriate activity. Teachers and administrators who are interested need only furnish contact information: teacher’s name-email address and grade. Interested teachers may email or call Boomsma at 343-1842. An online sign-up form is also available at http://growmehelp.wordpress.com.

January 2015 Bookworm Schedule

Reading is fun!My first copies of Treasure Island and Huckleberry Finn still have some blue-spruce needles scattered in the pages. They smell of Christmas still.”

Charlton Heston


Welcome back from Christmas Vacation… hope everyone did lots of reading! Welcome to a New Year! How many books will you read this year?

Tuesday, January 6 – Mr. Boomsma will be at school to read, 9:30 AM

Thursday, January 8 – Mr. Lange will be at school to read, 8:30 AM

Tuesday, January 13 - Mrs. Lander will be at school to read, 9:30 AM

Thursday, January 15 - Ms. Erwin will be at school to read, 8:30 AM

Friday, January 16 – Monthly Valley Grange Meeting – potluck supper at 6 PM, meeting at 7 PM.

Tuesday, January 20 – Mrs. Lander will be at school to read, 9:30 AM

Thursday, January 22 - Mr. Lange will be at school to read, 8:30 AM

Tuesday, January 27 - Ms. Erwin will be at school to read, 9:30 AM

Thursday, January 29 – Mr. Boomsma will be at school to read, 8:30 AM

Harmony in Harmony!

Third graders at Harmony Elementary School agreed–the dictionary is a pretty awesome book! This was our last–and smallest–dictionary day of 2014, with almost as many Valley Grange members visiting as there were third graders!

Our “Words for Thirds Program” now includes four school districts and we handed out over 200 dictionaries this year! Thanks to everyone who supports this project in some way–we are making a difference.

December 2014 Bookworm Schedule

Reading is fun!A book is like a garden, carried in the pocket.”

Chinese Proverb


Welcome back from Thanksgiving Vacation… hope everyone did lots of reading!

Tuesday, December 2 – Mrs. Kimball will be at school to read, 9:30 AM

Thursday, December 4 – Mr. Lange will be at school to read, 8:30 AM

Friday, December 5 – Fellowship Breakfast at the Valley Grange Hall at 6 PM (that’s not a mistake–breakfast at night!) All are invited… bring a breakfast dish to share! For menu information contact Mr. Boomsma or Mrs. Annis.

Tuesday, December 9 - Mrs. Kimball will be at school to read, 9:30 AM

Wednesday, December 10 – Christmas Concert at 5:30 PM in the PCSS Gym! More information here!

Thursday, December 11- Mrs. Lander will be at school to read, 8:30 AM

Tuesday, December 16 – Mrs. Erwin at school to read, 9:30 AM

Thursday, December 18- Mrs. Lander will be at school to read, 8:30 AM

Monday, December 22 – Friday, January 2 is vacation! Hope you get lots of books for Christmas!

Holiday Bookworm

 

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