April is Grange Month — Find a Place to Celebrate!

Okay, we’re not so altruistic that we won’t try to convince you to come to a Valley Grange Event first… but we also thought you’d like to know what’s going on in the area! This is a great month to get acquainted — or reacquainted — with the Grange! No doubt there are many other Grange Meetings and events going on… if you hear of something not posted here let me know and I’ll add it!

Thursday, April 1 Piscataquis Pomona meets at Valley Grange for Potluck Supper at 6 PM, meeting to follow at 7 PM. Contact Pomona Master Bill Bemis at 924-3537 for additional information.

 Friday, April 2 Valley Grange meets for regular business meeting at 7 PM… members and volunteers are encouraged to come a bit early and help with “spring cleaning.”

Thursday, April 8, auditions for the Bangor Grange Talent Show will be held from 6:oo PM until 8:00 PM. Talent show is scheduled on April 17. For more information, please call Rolf at 973-3976. Bangor Grange Hall is located on Ohio Street in Bangor.

Friday, April 9 Garland Grange conducts its first Public Supper in 2010 with members serving from 5 PM to 7 PM. Menu includes roast beef, potato, vegetables, homemade bread and desserts. ALL YOU CAN EAT. Price is $6.00 for adults, $3.00 for children ages 5 to 12, under age 5 FREE. Bring in one nonperishable food item for local food cupboard to receive $1.00 off your meal. Proceeds from supper to benefit Garland Grange Building Fund and community service projects. Garland Grange Hall is located on Oliver Hill Road. These suppers are well-known and attended!

Saturday, April 10 Ammadamast Grange holds an Open House Extravaganza from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM… Secretary of State Matt Dunlap will be present to honor the occasion. Grange Hall is located on Route 188 (46 Lowell Road) in Enfield. Contact Steve Grey, 732-4682 for more information.

Sunday, April 11 Garland Grange holds a Family Fun Day from 1:30 am to 4 pm. Families invited for food and fun. Lunch will be on sale from 11:30 am to 1 pm, followed by an afternoon of indoor family friendly games. Families are welcome to arrive anytime during afternoon. For more information, please call Lisa Newman at 924-4010.

Sunday, April 11 Maine State Junior Grange Meeting at State Headquarters in Augusta, 2 PM. FMI contact Sue Hackett, State Jr/Youth Director for more information.

Monday, April 12 Queen City Grange  holds their regular meeting. Potluck Supper at 6:00 PM, Program begins at 7:00 PM. Grange Hall is located at 1192 Ohio Street, Bangor. Contact Tim Wilson at 285-7906 for more information.

Tuesday, April 13 Parkman Grange will hold an open-house in celebration of Grange Month and to show off all the recent repairs and renovations. Program starts at 7:00 PM and will include a brief presentation regarding the Grange’s role in modern communities. Parkman Grange Hall is located at the four corners in Parkman. For additional information contact Elizabeth Morin at 876-3300 or Don Pepin at 343-0274.

Friday, April 16, Valley Grange will celebrate Guilford Primary School with a Community Citizen Award Ceremony. Potluck Supper starts at 6 PM, Program begins at 7:30 PM. For program information contact Lecturer Walter Boomsma. Download the flyer from the Valley Grange web site — upper right hand corner.

Saturday, April 17, Maine State Junior Grange will hold a contest day at State Headquarters starting at 1:00 PM. FMI contact Sue Hackett, State Jr/Youth Director.

Saturday April 17 Bangor Grange will host a Farmers Fair from 12:00 to 5:30 – they are hoping to have about 10 local farmers showing and talking about their local products. Contact Rolf at 973-3976 or Brenda at 356-1172 for more information—they’d especially like to hear from farmers who’d like to participate. Bangor Grange Hall is located on Ohio Street in Bangor. Extension Service Folks will be present with lots of information… this is a great opportunity to learn about local farms and produce!

Saturday, April 17th Bangor Grange will sponsor a Talent Show at 7 PM. Auditions will be held on April 8th. The auditions and the show will be at the Bangor Grange Hall, 1192 Ohio Street. Pam Martin is heading this up and we know that it’ll be a great show. Tickets for the show will be $7.00 each but contestants and family will not be charged. For more information, please call Rolf at 973-3976.

Saturday, April 17th Parkman Grange hosts a benefit supper 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM and concert by the group American Roots following. all proceeds being given to the family of David and Christine Hession… The Grange is also running a great raffle with too many prices to list… call Pat Johnson at 876-3304 for information about the raffle.  An account for the family has been established at the Maine Highlands Federal Credit Union, PO Box 697, Guilford ME 04443 for those who wish to donate directly to the Hession Family. For information about the supper and concert, contact Grange Master Liz Morin at 876-3300.

Saturday April 24, Valley Grange continues to celebrate Grange Month with a community service project… members will assemble at the Boss Cemetery in Dover Foxcroft to “spruce things up.” Time to be determined… for more information contact Mary Annis, Community Service Chairperson.

Saturday, April 24 Maine State Junior Grange Bowling Tournament. FMI contact Sue Hackett, State Jr/Youth Director.  You can bowl anywhere—send your score sheet to Sue Hackett with a $2 entry fee by May 15th.

Saturday, April 24, Penobscot Pomona meets at Queen City Grange for CWA Night. Paid supper at 6:00 PM, meeting at 7:00 PM. Contact Dolores Moore for more information.

April Bookworm Schedule

A wonderful thing about a book, in contrast to a computer screen, is that you can take it to bed with you.

~ Daniel J. Boorstin ~

Thursday, April 1 – Mr. BoomsmaReading is fun!

Tuesday, April 6 – Mr. Boomsma

Thursday, April 8 – Mr. Downing 

Tuesday, April 13 – Mrs. Goodman

Thursday, April 15 – Mr. Boomsma

Friday, April 16 – Calling all bookworms to Celebrate Guilford Primary School!!!

Tuesday, April 20 & Thursday April 22 –Vacation Week

Thursday, April 27 – Miss Erwin

Tuesday, April 29 – Mrs. Marsh

Butter’s Better!

Let's taste it!

As part of the MAITC ReadME project, second graders at Guilford Primary School learned how to make butter! Since then, many of the kids have asked for the “recipe” so they can try this at home. (Of course that means with permission and adult help!) Here are the steps:

  1. Start with clean hands heavy whipping cream. Don’t try any “low fat” options because it’s the milk fat that makes the butter! Cream or milk contains fat in the form of drops suspended in the liquid. The reason this process works is that the shaking of the container forces the fat drops to come together and stick.
  2. Get a glass jar with a lid that fits tight. Make sure it is very clean and sanitized. A canning jar like the one we used in class works great or use baby food jars to make individual portions.
  3. Leave the cream out until it reaches room temperature–at least an hour. You can start with it being cold but it will take longer.
  4. Consider making this a family project.  The jar has to be shaken and shaken hard for a while, so you might want to get everybody together and put on some dancing music to accompany your shaking!
  5. Fill the jar almost to the top. You can add a little salt for flavor and screw the lid on tightly.
  6. Better Butter!

  7. Shake the jar! How long it will take will depend on many things such as how much cream and how warm it is, but plan on at least 10-20 minutes. You may be able see the butter developing and you may hear a “plop, plop” as the lump of butter starts to form.
  8. Scoop out the butter… what’s left is called “buttermilk” and you can drink it! You can make the butter harder by running cold water over it or putting it on ice.
  9. Homemade butter goes great on lots of things, but don’t forget to refrigerate any you don’t eat immediately!

The Maine Agriculture in the Classroom Project encourages students to learn about agriculture. The state-wide program involves volunteer readers visiting schools (Valley Grange Bookworms visited 15 classrooms) to read from a book provided by MAITC. This year’s book was written specifically about Maine and every classroom visited gets a copy for their class library. For more information visit the MAITC link on this page.

And don’t forget we’ll be celebrating Guilford Primary School on April 16th!

March Meeting — Agriculture!

Tonight’s meeting promises to be exciting and fun… The program is under the direction of Agricultural Chair Guy Downing and includes Jean Rollins of Rollins Orchards who will share lots of information about apples and cider! We’re also expecting some good fiddle music… and this is the meeting the CWA Sweet Breads Contest will be judged. How’s that for diversity!

We should also hear some brief reports on our “Maine Agriculture in the Classroom” projects at McKusick Elementary and Guilford Primary… (You can expect a post on the topic soon!)

 Just yesterday the folks at Garland Grange announced that they have voted to attend our meeting as a group so we should have a nice group! Come join us for Potluck Supper at 6 PM followed by our meeting at 7 PM.

Jump Rope for Heart!

McKusick Elementary School and Guilford Primary School kicked off their annual “Jump Rope for Heart” Program in some fast-paced assemblies coordinated by School Nurse Sharon Foster, School Nurse and McKusick Ed Tech Paula Bailey. Many of the students remembered the program from last year when the combined efforts of the two schools raised over $3,000 to benefit the American Heart Association.

Chelsea jumping

Chelsea Cookson practices her jumping style.

Students are given a collection envelop and have several weeks to collect donations (with parental permission, of course).  Nurse Foster explained that while there are lots of activities and prizes for those who jump, it’s important to remember the “focus is just what the program name says, ‘Jump Rope for Heart.’ So while we want to raise as much money as we can, we’ll also get some great exercise and have lots of fun!” Students and teachers got to practice their technique using pretend jump ropes during the assembly. Many continued their efforts during recess.

By participating in Jump Rope for Heart students learn how their hearts work and how to take care of them through physical activity and nutrition. And they will learn about children who have been affected by cardiovascular disease and how they can help them. In short, children have fun and feel good by helping others.

One of the rules students must follow is “no door to door solicitation” so adults who would like to support the schools and this cause are encouraged to find a student or contact the schools.  Collection envelopes are due back to McKusick by April 9th and to Guilford Primary School by April 16th – which by coincidence is Celebrate Guilford Primary School Day, sponsored by Valley Grange. Walter Boomsma, program director for Valley Grange finds this “uniquely appropriate because it’s one of the many examples of how our schools and kids are good citizens. We just hope the kids don’t get too worn out from jumping because we’d like to see a lot of them and their parents at the celebration later in the day.”

The Celebrate GPS Program will begin with a community potluck supper at the Valley Grange Hall at 6:00 PM followed by a presentation of the Valley Grange Community Citizen Award at 7:30 PM. The Valley Grange Hall is located at the corner of Butter Street and Guilford Center Road and the public is invited and encouraged to attend.

Advertising Experts Selected

 View WABI TV-5’s live coverage here…

NIE Winners –Download a printable PDF file containg the six “winning” ads

Here’s something cool… a  lot of people have seen this poster, but it took one of the kids at school to notice a mistake! The poster shows Matthew Goggin as a second grader–he’s not; he’s in third grade!

The nearly 100 second and third graders had waited nearly a month for the news. They’d all strained their creative brains to draw ads as part of the Newspapers in Education project.  This is the second Valley Grange has sponsored the project by purchasing two ads in the Piscataquis Observer and commissioning the students to create the actual advertisement. The purpose of the recent assembly was to let them know whose drawing would be published in the Piscataquis Observer’s Special Edition on March 31st. In spite of their anticipation they sat quietly and listened to Principal Orton remind them how fortunate the school is to have the Grange provide opportunities like this.

Grange Program Leader Walter Boomsma built the suspense by joking with them and making them wait between each announcement. The winning ads were flashed on the screen before the names were announced, causing at least one

Second Grader Caitlyn Drinkwater

student to show surprise before everyone else. Second grader winners included Macee Pearl and Makala Smart with Caitlyn Drinkwater’s selected for publication. Each student was invited to give an acceptance speech “like on TV” and each refused with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Third grade winners included Annalee Knowles and Matthew Goggin. Chloe Hamele’s ad was selected for publication.

Boomsma told the kids that the identity of the judges was a well-kept secret but they “followed the rules and did a very hard job.” He also noted that one thing making that made it a little easier was that “while we have winners there are no losers.” Each student received a special thank you magnet at the end of the day.

Third Grader Chloe Hamele

Art Teacher Jane Daniels is a big fan of the program and likes the fact that projects like this give art real life application as well as stimulate creativity among the kids. “It’s an opportunity to teach many different aspects of art and give the kids a chance to see how they might have an art-related career.”

 Boomsma also noted that Valley Grange is planning a “Celebrate Guilford Primary School” program on April 16th. “Our members have been working with the school for some time now,” he noted. “We’re not sure the entire community knows what a good citizen the school is… they have a number of programs that range from excellence in education to collecting aluminum pop tops to Jumping Rope for Hearts. “ Grange members selected Guilford Primary school to receive their annual Community Citizen Award. Families are invited to join the celebration at Valley Grange Hall on Friday, April 16th when the Grange hosts a potluck supper at 6:00 PM and a celebration at 7:30 PM.

Maine Grange Agricultural Scholarship

The Maine State Grange is looking for young men and women who are pursuing a career in agriculture or agriculturally related fields at the college level. One or more applicants who met the criteria will be awarded a $500. scholarship in June. Download the rules and application.

Questions about the scholarship may be addressed to Maine State Grange at 800 464-3421. Applications must be postmarked by April 30, 2010.

The Grange has a long history of promoting agriculture and this program is due to the generosity of Grangers throughout the state. You may continue to support this program with donations sent to Maine State Grange, 146 State Street, Augusta ME 04330. Please note “Ag Scholarship” on the check!

Celebrate Guilford Primary School!

(Excerpts from a press release.)

GUILFORD – April 2010 has been declared as “Grange Month,” and Valley Grange is inviting community members to join the celebration.  “For over 140 years, the Grange has worked to advance the interest of rural Americans by providing a legislative voice for their political concerns and by showing them how to strengthen their neighborhoods through community service,” Valley Grange Master Jim Annis said. “During Grange Month, we want our community to know that the Grange is a living organization that has a lot to offer it.”

Program Leader Walter Boomsma notes that this year’s program will break from tradition a bit. “For a number of years we’ve used this special meeting to honor a local citizen who’s made a substantial contribution to our communities and this year is no exception but it is a lot different! As we discussed candidates for this year’s award, we found ourselves coming back to our relationship with Guilford Primary School, the school’s contribution to the community, and the opportunities they’ve provided us to work with the kids. Then we realized the school is as much a ‘citizen’ as any individual so this year’s recipient is Guilford Primary School—teachers, staff and students past and present, and parents!”

The celebration will take place on April 16, 2010 at the Valley Grange Hall in Guilford. Members of the community are invited to share in a traditional potluck supper starting at 6 PM with the actual celebration beginning at 7:30 PM. The public is invited and encouraged to come prepared with testimonials to the accomplishments and community services the school’s teachers, staff, and kids make. “Funny stories are especially welcome!” Boomsma noted.

Julie Orton, principal of the school is excited not only that the school is being honored. She notes this is yet another learning opportunity for students. “We do think of ourselves as a community within a community and this honor gives us a wonderful opportunity to teach students the importance of citizenship.”

The Grange not only provides fun-filled and educational programs and activities for its members, it also provides them with opportunities to strengthen the community with community service projects. While Valley Grange has a wide array of programs and projects, many members confess that working with the children brings extra special rewards. The Grange’s involvement with Guilford Primary School started with the familiar “Words for Thirds Program’ which provides every third grader with their own personal dictionary. Over the years the program has expanded to include “Bookworming” with Grangers visiting the school to listen to children read and the Newspapers in Education program which involves second and third graders using their creative and artistic skills to develop advertisements for the Grange. Several ads are selected and used by the Grange throughout the year.

 “Our involvement with the school has really developed into a partnership,” noted Grange Community Service Chairperson Mary Annis. “As we’ve spent time with the school and the children we’ve discovered how much they give back to the community and to us. We really do have a win/win relationship and it’s exciting to realize we have a wonderful opportunity to recognize it!”