Thinking Safety First!

A community event with kids in mind…


Family Friendly Food… Fun… Resources… and it’s all free!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Community Potluck Supper 6:00 — 7:00*

Eddie Eagle Program  7:15 — 7:45 p.m.

*please bring a dish to share with  your friends and neighbors.


We’re assembling family safety resources and plan to have a variety of people and material available during and after the potluck supper… Examples of what we’re looking for include fire safety, bicycle safety, what to do when lightning strikes…  the program is built around the Eddie Eagle Gun Safety Program, but we have room for people and material on a wide variety of topics. If you are interested in participating as a safety resource or have handout material we can use, call Mary Annis at 564-0820 or Walter Boomsma at 343-1842 or email

Would your child know what to do if he or she found a gun?

Picture1“Mr. Boomsma” will be facilitating the NRA Eddie Eagle Gunsafe® Program as part of this family safety program. Free workbooks will be distributed to kids from pre-school age to grade four, but all ages are welcome! The Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program is a gun accident prevention program developed by National Rifle Association firearm safety and education experts designed to teach children four simple, easy to remember steps so they know what to do if they ever come across a gun. In a brand new video, Eddie and his friends remind children that if they see a gun, they need to stop, don’t touch, run away and tell a grown-up. The program makes no value judgments about firearms, no firearms are ever used, and it covers an important topic that needs to be addressed with kids. With recent changes in gun legislation and firearms found in about half of all American households, it’s a program that makes sense.


October Bookworm Schedule

Reading is fun!We’re starting another year of “worming!” Here’s what Bookworms are up to in October:

Tuesday, October 13 – Bookworms will be at school for the annual kickoff assembly starting at 9:30 a.m. in the cafeteria

Thursday, October 15 – Mrs. Lander will be at school to read starting at 9:00 a.m.

Friday, October 16 – Don’t forget Family Safety Day at Valley Grange! Community Potluck Supper at 6:00 p.m. and the Eddie Eagle program at 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, October 20 – Mrs. Kimball will be at school to read starting at 9:00 a.m.

Thursday, October 22 – Mr. Lange will be at school to read starting at 9:00 a.m.

Monday, October 26 is PCES Dictionary Day! PCES Third Graders and their teachers will be visiting Valley Grange at 12:30 p.m. to receive their dictionaries!

Tuesday, October 27 – Mrs. Kimball will be at school to read starting at 9:00 a.m.

Thursday, October 29 – Mrs. Lander will be at school to read starting at 9:00 a.m.

Valley Grange Summer Schedule

June 18, Thursday–Pomona Election of Officers at South Sangerville Grange. Potluck at 6 pm, meeting at 7 pm.

June 19, FridayValley Grange Election of Officers. Potluck at 6 pm, meeting at 7 pm.

July 11, SaturdayPomona Picnic at the home of Janice and Walter Boomsma. Social time starts at 4:30, potluck picnic at 6 pm and White Elephant Auction at 7 pm. This typically takes the place of our July meeting.

July 25, SaturdayRiver Festival in Guilford… theme this year is Wizard of Oz… Valley Grange will be there with balloons! Details will be announced.

August 6, Thursday–Pomona Meeting with Fifth Degree instruction at Garland Grange. Potluck at 6 pm and degree instruction at 7 pm.

August 15, Saturday–Pomona-wide Installation of Officers tentatively scheduled at Garland Grange. Supper to be announced at 6 pm, installation at 7 pm. State Master Vicki Huff’s Installation Team will preside. This typically takes the place of our August meeting…

August 27, Thursday Piscataquis Valley Fair opens and runs through Sunday. Several Granges usually exhibit,

Valley Granger cited in Dictionary Project Newsletter

DP Header

Sponsor Spotlight: Walter Boomsma, Valley Grange #144

Enthusiasm is important to the success of any project, but it is not the only ingredient. Although enthusiasm is frequently the catalyst, the jump-start that gets the engine going, it is commitment that provides for the life and continuity of a dictionary project. Commitment, or the state of being whole-heartedly dedicated to a cause, is what has driven Walter Boomsma to continue The Dictionary Project for the Valley Grange #144 for the past eight years. “My passion is kids first, second and third,” said Boomsma and The Dictionary Project appreciates his efforts to ensure that today’s children have a bright future.

Read the entire article here.

Community Night Successful!

Community Citizen Surprised!

Com Citizen_15SMIn spite of a few last minute glitches (like him showing up early), we managed to keep Community Citizen Matthew Hackett in the dark until the last minute! Matt’s a great guy and some former students admitted to spending time in his office, but also thanked him for always being fair and respecting them. One of the comments that Matt made was that he was always glad when an angry parent showed up at his door because it meant they cared. When you think about it, that makes sense–and it is equally obvious that Matt cares. Special thanks to Roger Ricker for making a great wooden sign for the occasion and to Pat Engstrom for her efforts to get Matt and others to the meeting.

101 Raffle Report

While we don’t keep an exact count of who sells how many, our top ticket sellers this year include Janice and Pat Engstrom, Roger Ricker, Lois Prescott, and Linda Erwin. Our gross receipts were $658 (including a $50 donation of tickets from Bob Carroll and Linda Erwin) so after deducting the cost of the tickets we net $558. Janice likes to say “that’ll buy quite a few dictionaries.” The raffle winner was Craig Fellows, a farmer from Dexter—he was out cutting wood when we called to tell him of his good fortune. Hopefully he’ll scratch off enough winnings to buy some chain saw oil!

Long Timers…

Congratulations to long time members… Kevin Annis and Judy Ricker were present for their 25 year awards. Not present but no less honored were Carolyn and Richard Williams at 55 years and Dora Starbird at 75 years.You know there’s got to be some really good stuff about being a Granger–people stay with it!

May 2015 Bookworm Schedule

Reading is fun!

Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.


It’s May! It’s May! The lovely month of May! And there is a lot going on!!

Friday, May 1 – Bookworms and members will meet at Valley Grange at 6 PM for some spring cleaning–sweepers and rakers and dusters are welcome! Business meeting starts at 7 PM.

Tuesday, May 5 – Ms. Erwin will be at school to read, 9:30 AM

Thursday, May 7 – Mrs. Kimball will be at school to read, 8:30 AM, PCES Spring Concert starts at 6:00 PM in the gym!

Tuesday, May 12 – Mr. Boomsma will be at school to read, 9:30 AM

Thursday, May 14 – Mr. Lange will be at school to read, 8:30 AM, Art Show opens at 5:00 PM!

Friday, May 15Community Night at Valley Grange… potluck supper at 6:00 PM, program at 7:00 PM

Tuesday, May 19 – Mrs. Lander will be at school to read, 9:30 AM

Thursday, May 21 – Ms. Erwin will be at school to read, 8:30 AM, Third Grade Exhibition at 6:00 PM in the gym!

Monday, May 25 – Memorial Day

Tuesday, May 26 — Mrs. Lander will be at school to read, 9:30 AM

Thursday, May 28 – Mr. Lange will be at school to read, 8:30 AM

Arts Alive is coming soon!

Valley Grange Creates Opportunities!

Community Counts Flyer

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


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