March 2012 Bookworm Schedule

Reading is fun!

“Children start off reading in books about lions and giraffes and so on, but they also-if they’re lucky enough and have reasonable privileges of any human being-are able to go into a garden and turn over stone and see a worm and see a slug and see an ant.”

David Attenborough

March is a busy month with lots of opportunities for reading and fun!

Thursday, March 1 – Mr. Boomsma will be at school at 9 AM to bookworm.

Monday, March 5 – Bookworms are invited to attend the “GrowME” meeting to help plan school activities by gardeners, farmers, and other volunteers. The meeting will be held at 9 AM at the PCSWCD office in Dover Foxcroft. Contact Mr. Boomsma for more information.

Tuesday,  March 6 – Mr. Boomsma will be at the school at 9 AM to bookworm.

Thursday,  March 8 – Mrs. Leeman will be at school at 9 AM to bookworm.

Monday, March 12th – Mrs. Marsh, Mrs. Bosworth and Mr. Boomsma will be at the school for GrowME activities with kindergarten and first graders! 

Tuesday, March 13th – Mr. Boomsma will be at the school for GrowME–making butter with second graders! Mrs. Erwin will be at school at 9 AM to bookworm.

Wednesday, March 15th – Mrs. Boomsma will be at the school for GrowME–planting seeds with third graders!

 Thursday,  March 16th – Mrs. Leeman will be at school at 9 AM to bookworm.

Friday, March 17th – An Eggstravaganza at Valley Grange to celebrate agriculture and the GrowME Program. Come learn how eggs are developed inside a chicken… and how GrowME hatched! We’ll have a community potluck supper (bring a dish to share–how about an egg dish?) at 6 PM and a program at 7 PM… everybody is invited! Bring the whole family! Download your own Eggstravaganza Poster and make some copies!

Tuesday, March 20th – Mrs. Erwin will be at school at 9 AM to bookworm.

Thursday, March 22nd – Mr. Boomsma will be at school at 9 AM to bookworm.

Friday, March 23rd – Newspapers in Education Awards Assembly at 9:45 AM in the PCES Cafeteria to announce the winning ads!

Tuesday, March 27th – Mrs. Leeman will be at school at 9 AM to bookworm.

Wednesday, March 28th – Don’t forget to check out the winning Valley Grange ads in today’s edition of The Piscataquis Observer!

Thursday, March 29th – Mrs. Marsh will be at school at 9 AM to bookworm.

March Eggstravaganza!

Friday, March 16th Valley Grange will host an “Eggstravaganza” to celebrate completion of the GrowME activities completed throughout the week—and the hatching of a local program that’s sure to grow every year. Everyone involved in the project – volunteers, teachers, students, parents—is invited! Donna Coffin of Piscataquis County Extension will introduce her “virtual chicken” so we can all learn how eggs are formed and we’ll have highlights of the program’s results. Bring your favorite egg-based dish to share at a community potluck supper at 6 PM. For additional information contact Walter Boomsma at 343-1842 or email. Grange Hall is located at the corner of Guilford Center Road and Butter Street.

GrowME Update

During their recent meeting, the GrowME Team decided to adopt some structure based on the enthusiastic response they’ve had to their offer to provide agricultural activities to local classrooms. Walter Boomsma of Valley Grange will be serving as coordinator for S.A.D. 4 and School Union 60. Shelia Richards of PCSWCD will focus on S.A.D. 68 while Felicia Dumont of UMaine Piscataquis County Extension will work with S.A.D. 41.

The collaboration was loosely formed earlier this year to “build a truly local program of agriculturally themed activities for kids led by local volunteers with the objective of creating agricultural literacy and making it fun.” For their first year, the group decided to focus on Kindergarten through first grade and offer short “hands-on” activities in March when “Ag Day” is traditionally celebrated.

“We were optimistic, but not really prepared,” said Walter Boomsma of Valley Grange. “Within a very short period of time we had classrooms from nearly every school in the county signed up.” Boomsma estimates that the collaboration will end up working with over 30 classrooms and nearly 500 students.

The GrowME team also set a deadline of March 2nd for classes to sign up, but Shelia Richards admits it might not be strictly enforced. “We want to be organized and make sure provide a quality experience,” she said. “But it would be hard to say ‘no’ to a teacher or class who wanted us, even at the last minute.”

The group hopes to have their volunteer roster complete by March 9th. Volunteers will have some options in terms of activities, but there will be some guidelines to insure activities are appropriate. Project Team member Lynn Lubas is working on a catalog of activities. “We are creating some structure based on our belief this will be an ongoing program. We don’t want students to repeat an activity as they progress to a new grade, so our options will be determined by grade level.” Lubas also noted that volunteers do not have to be in charge of an activity. Helpers are also needed.

Boomsma is handling publicity for the group and he finds it amusing that interest outside the area is already growing even though the program hasn’t happened yet. “We were recently mentioned in New England City and Town News Notes where a synopsis of our program is listed as an ‘Education Idea Starter.’ I think the appeal of what we’re doing is about simplicity and collaboration. We don’t have or need a budget. We have people with passion, energy, and most importantly—a shared goal.”

More information is available from any one of the coordinators: Boomsma at 343-1842, Richards at 564-2321 and Dumont at 564-3301. The next GrowME team meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 5th at 9 AM at the PCSWCD office. All are welcome!

Keeping Kids Warm!

With a special thanks to writer Shelia Grant and the Hometown Newspapers, enjoy this feature article about our “Blisted Finger Knitters.”

Valley Grange brings yarn, knitters and bare hands and heads together