River Festival 2011

We’re ready!

If we look a little “limp” in the photo it’s because we set up right after the rain stopped… but the sun came out and we ended up with a great day!

We provided over 300 balloons–most at no charge–to a lot of happy kids. We say “most” because Nat Marsh figured out that some kids were coming back claiming they’d lost their balloon-but they’d really been using them to do that squeaky voice thing. As a result of Nat’s powers of observation, we “sold” some big kid balloons and collected $14 in the Smart Starts Collection can. We also gave away lots of information slips about our Italian Dinner later this month and talked to a few people about Grange Membership. Our 50/50 netted us $18.50 but also must have set some kind of record because the winner was all the way from Washington State!

We learned a lot about balloon blowing… and “lost” our share to the wind… got to check up on a few of our bookworm buddies and their summer reading efforts… and see some old friends and make a few new ones. We made a lot of kids happy and proved that Valley Grange is alive and well in Guilford! (And who knows where else… some of those balloons looked like they were going to sail pretty far away… )

Special thanks to booth workers Roger and Judy, Floyd and Nathalee, Linda and Bob, Janice… and to Jim and Mary for showing up super early to help with set up… and to an unnamed strapping young fellow who proved he could unload our helium tank for us single-handedly… and to the young lady from Parkman Grange who provided the “motivation” to Bob and Jim to reload it almost as quickly at the end of the day. How can helium–lighter than air–weigh so much!?


August 2011 Bookworm Schedule

Reading is fun!“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.”

~Mason Cooley

Okay… so there isn’t exactly a formal Bookworm Schedule for August, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be reading and doing things! Thanks to all the kids who stopped by our booth at Riverfest… it was good to see you!

This month Bookworm Readers will be anxiously looking forward to our special Italian Dinner being served by the Penquis Folks to benefit the Smart Starts Project. We are hoping lots of people will take advantage of this and we’ll help raise lots of money for school supplies for kids in the area!

We’ll keep reading… and it won’t be long before we’ll be going “back to school!” We’ll also be getting ready for our Words for Thirds Dictionary Project… the summer is going by too fast!

August 2011 Health Beat

Karen’s Kolumn is written by Karen Dolley, R.N. and Grange Friend… we appreciate her knowledge and her willingness to share!

Summertime in Maine offers many fun activities for families. But between the months of May and August, drowning deaths for children increase 89% over the rest of the year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1-14 years old and the fifth leading cause of death for people of all ages in the United States, ranking second only to automobile accidents. Nearly 750 children ages 14 and under died in 2007 in the United States due to unintentional drowning. Many more children are injured due to a near drowning incident. A parent or a caregiver stated they were supervising their children in almost 9 out of 10 drowning related deaths. The highest risk of drowning occurs between the ages of 1 and 4 years old.

About half of all drowning accidents occur in natural water settings like lakes, rivers, and oceans. About 19% occurred in swimming pools and about 9% occurred in boating incidents.

Most children are attracted to the water. Toddlers need close supervision because their capabilities change on a daily basis.

Safety tips for swimmers and boaters include making an investment in formal swimming lessons and learn to swim!; provide constant, careful supervision when children are around or in the water; learn CPR; never swim alone; look for underwater hazards and avoid rip currents; use life jackets; avoid alcohol; take a boating safety course; know the weather forecast and do not swim during thunderstorms; fence off backyard swimming pools and remove ladders leading from the ground to a pool when the pool is not in use; do not let children operate personal water crafts; do not use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision; do not leave children’s toys around a pool or in a pool; and always jump into a body of water feet first.

Drowning can occur in the winter too. Beware of thin ice.

For more information visit www.safekids.org; www.cpsc.gov; www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov; www.safeboatingcouncil.org; and www.cdc.gov.

Be safe and enjoy the rest of the summer!