Future Advertising Experts

A future advertising expert hard at work

Valley Grange now has nearly 100 assistant publicity directors, thanks in part to the Piscataquis Observer’s “Newspapers in Education” program and Valley Grange’s willingness to sponsor a couple of ads developed our bookworm buddies… second and third graders from Guilford Primary School. For those unfamiliar with the program, businesses and organizations pay for the ad space (at a price far lower than regular display advertising) and local students are challenged to develop the ads.

Earlier last week I had the fun of working with one second grade class under the direction of Jane Daniels, S.A.D. 4 art teacher who loves the program because it “gives us a way to integrate art into practical terms.” The kids seem to enjoy exercising their creative skills by trying to capture what’s great about the Grange in a picture. Unfortunately, I can’t reveal their ideas and approaches.

I can tell you that third graders are familiar with the Grange’s Words for Thirds Program and all G.P.S. students know the Grange “Bookworms” who appear on Tuesdays and Thursdays to listen to them read. Most of the ads have an agricultural aspect as the kids understand the Grange started as “farmers helping each other” and continues the same theme today: “people helping each other.” I’m just glad I’m not the one who has to “pick” which ads are placed in the paper!

Last the year the young artists were challenge to fit a large amount of “text” into the ad space. This year things have been simplified. Rather than try to list the Grange’s location and meeting times, readers will be referred to the Valley Grange Website for more information.

Collaboration is encouraged!

I also can’t resist suggesting that Granges and other non-profits consider getting involved in this program. The majority of these NIE advertisements are developed by middle and high school students—Valley Grange requested that we be allowed to “commission” primary school students because of our relationship with the school and kids. We like the program for a lot of reasons, including the fact that it gets the kids involved and thinking about community organizations. It’s probably too late this year, but next year consider the opportunity to get some great ads done while supporting our schools and communities.

Our assistant publicity directors’ works in progress will be turned in for judging by February 26th. The special Newspapers in Education Section will be distributed with the March 31st edition of the Observer. You won’t want to miss it!

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