She’s 90 Years Young!

Laura Pratt

Our “past master” is rapidly approaching her 90th birthday… and because she’s a frequent participant in the Words For Thirds Dictionary presentation I often “whisper” to the kids that she’s “really old” when I introduce her. Then when she chats with them she’ll tell them how long she’s been a member of the Grange… and that she joined when she was fourteen years old. This gives us a “teachable moment” as the young scholars attempt the math in their heads.

It’s not her age but her smile and her enthusiasm that defines Laura, but this birthday does provide an opportunity to honor this great woman and her many contributions to the Grange, the community, and her family and friends.  So you’re invited to join all those folks for a Birthday Party Open House at the home of Floyd and Nathalee Marsh: 38 Butter Street in Guilford.

Saturday, March 12 from 1 – 4 PM

You won’t have to calculate her age, but you should ask her some questions because she has a great memory. She might even tell you about the time the Grange Outhouse got painted in her honor.

Let Them Eat Cake!

How many reasons do you need to have cake?

We have some ongoing jokes about our Pomona meetings hosted at East Sangerville Grange… but they always have some surprises for us under the heading of “Grange Food.” This last meeting was no exception as we feasted on a delicious cake prepared in celebration of Valley Grange’s National Community Service Award. Diane McCarthy Clark did manage to work up the courage to cut the work of art… it didn’t take much courage to eat a piece or two! Thanks to East Sangerville Grange for hosting the meeting and honoring us with the cake! Yum!

Bookworm Schedule for March 2011

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”

Groucho Marx
Reading is fun!

Tuesday, March 1 – Mrs. Goodman

Thursday, March 3 – Mr. Boomsma

Tuesday,  March 8 – Mr. Boomsma
 Don’t forget Newspapers in Education Assembly at 8:50 AM today!

Thursday, March 10 – Mr. Boomsma

March 14 – March 18 – Maine Agriculture in the Classroom Reading and Agricultural Activities throughout the week!

Tuesday, March 22 – Mrs. Marsh

Thursday, March 24 – Mrs. Marsh

Tuesday, March 29 – Mr.  Boomsma

Thursday March 31 – Mrs. Marsh

March Madness at Valley Grange!

As we move towards spring… Valley Grange members are busy!

Thursday, March 3rd Piscataquis Pomona Meeting at Garland Grange with a potluck supper at 6 PM and regular meeting at 7 PM.

NIE Magnet Makers at work!

Tuesday, March 8th We announce the winners of our annual Newspapers in Education contest in an assembly at Piscataquis Community Elementary School starting at 8:50 AM sharp!

Saturday, March 12th Valley Grange Volunteers assist Piscataquis County Chamber of Commerce with the Wild West Casin Night at the Sebec Event Center. This should be a blast! Consider comin’ and enjoyin’ the fun!

Monday, March 14th through Thursday March 16th Valley Grange bookworms and helpers celebrate Agricultural Week by visiting classes at Piscataquis Community Elementary School for reading and agricultural related activities.

Friday, March 18th Valley Grange will meet for potluck supper at 6 PM followed by regular meeting at 7 PM. Much of this meeting will be devoted to finalizing the Community Night Celebration during April which is Grange Month.

Tuesday, March 22  members are invited to travel to Augusta to help celebrate Agriculture Day at the State House. Grangers from all around the state provide fudge to legislators and create an awareness of the importance of agriculture. For more information call Jim Annis at 564-0820.

Bookworm Schedule will be posted separately by the beginning of the month… just about every Tuesday and Thursday a Grange Bookworm is at Piscataquis Community Elementary School… We love to read!


April 15th we’ll be having a HUGE Grange Month Community Celebration!

Lots of Kids “apply” for Assistant Publicity Director

Dictionaries came in handy!

Third and fourth graders took their assignment seriously and developed some great ads over the past few weeks as part of Valley Grange’s participation in conjunction with the Newspapers in Education Program. PCES art teacher Jane Daniels provided the framework and some tips to get the kids started and there was plenty of creative energy and some great ideas ended up on paper.  Some of that creativity clearly involved figuring out how a drawing of a “favorite thing” (such as a helicopter or horse) might be used to describe and illustrate Valley Grange.

One of the more rewarding observations is that most of the kids associate the Grange with reading–or more accurately the love of reading. A number of the ads included the headline “We love books!” and “We love to read!” The ads are now in the “judging” process–one of the more difficult aspects of the program.

A first place winner will be selected from each grade and the artist’s creation will appear in the March 30th edition of the Piscataquis Observer. However, the kids won’t have to wait until then to know who the winners are… winners will be announced in a short assembly at the school on March 8th starting promptly at 8:50 AM.  Every student who participated in the program will receive an “appreciation” magnet.

Grange Members note: Magnet makers will be needed at Friday’s Meeting (February 18th)! This is a “peel and stick” operation so don’t cut your fingernails too short… and bring your reading classes so you get the cards on straight! Remember we start with potluck supper at 6 PM and our meeting at 7 PM.

February 2011 Health Beat

Karen’s Kolumn is written by Karen Dolley our local area public health nurse… we appreciate her knowledge and her willingness to share!

A Healthy Smile? It’s Easy to Find! Remember to Brush and Floss Every Day! February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. The aim is to raise awareness about the importance of oral health and to focus on efforts to improve the oral health of all children. It is an annual observance sponsored by the American Dental Association. Founded in 1859, the American Dental Association is the oldest and largest national dental society in the world. It is a leading source of oral health related information.

 More than forty percent of children will have tooth decay before the age of five. According to the United states Surgeon General, tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease. It is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever. It is very important to develop good habits like brushing and flossing at an early age and to schedule regular dental visits to promote a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Cavities happen when starchy and sugary foods stay on and between the teeth. Plaque with bacteria stick there too. The longer the bacteria stay there, the greater the chance is for tooth decay. Left untreated, dental decay can cause serious health problems and life threatening infections. A report from the surgeon General released in May, 2000, highlights the associations between chronic oral infections and diabetes, osteoporosis, heart and lung conditions, and certain adverse pregnancy outcomes.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends a dental visit when the first tooth appears. Baby teeth are vulnerable to tooth decay and are needed for proper speech development and nutrition. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends cleaning infant mouths and gums regularly with a soft infant toothbrush or a cloth and warm water. Children older than six months need fluoride supplements if their drinking water does not contain enough fluoride. Fluoride supplementation has been shown to reduce tooth decay by as much as fifty percent. Babies should be weaned from bottles by twelve to fourteen months of age. Baby teeth should be brushed at least twice a day with a toothbrush made for small children and using a very small amount of toothpaste with fluoride in it. Flossing should begin when two teeth appear next to each other. Floss every day. Providing a healthy diet and minimizing sweets is also very important. Talk to your child’s dentist about dental sealants which protect teeth from decay.  

For more information, visit,, or  And don’t forget to smile!