Words for Thirds – Dictionary Update!

Even though distribution of dictionaries is long completed for this school year, the work continues! We recently asked a group of teachers to review our dictionary selection to be sure we are providing the best choice for the teachers’ and students’ needs. After a careful review of the books available , the team chose a different dictionary than the familiar red one we’ve been using since the beginning of our program.

The new one actually is more “kid friendly” and offers pronunciation help plus has better “guide words” and even more encyclopedic information in the back. We’ll be working on a transition plan for next year since we still have a small inventory of the red ones left. No doubt it will take a while to get used to the new color, but we believe this is a positive change for all involved. You can check out some of the details and see some sample pages here.

The March Dictionary Project Newsletter features an article regarding protecting children’s identity when photographing or filming dictionary presentations. Valley Grange is proud to be a trail blazer in this area and we especially appreciate the cooperative spirit we’ve experienced with local teachers and administration. The newsletter article refers readers to an article written by Walter Boomsma offering some suggestions for how presenters can document their presentations without creating issues for children and parents.

On a sad note, the Dictionary Project recently lost of their founders… Arno and Mary French started the Dictionary Project in 1995 and together they developed their passion into a global effort that has literally benefitted millions of students around the world.  Arno recently lost his short but courageous battle with cancer and will be greatly missed… Valley Grange has extended our sympathy to Mary. If you’d like to send a card of support:

Mary French
The Dictionary Project
PO Box 1845
Charleston SC 29402

Quilt/Pillow Raffle

One of the standing grange committees is called “CWA” which is short for Committee for Womens’ Activities. Our CWA Committee is raffling off two quilts and a pillow (see photo) to raise funds in support of their projects and causes. Tickets are available at our meetings or directly from Judy Ricker, committee chair. Judy will also be in charge of our April Program so that will be a good meeting to attend and a great opportunity to buy your ticket! The program will start with a potluck supper at 6 PM and meeting at 7 PM on Friday, April 20th. The winning raffle tickets will be drawn during our May 18th meeting, so don’t miss out!

You can email Judy for more information or to reserve your raffle tickets!

March 2012 Health Beat

Karen’s Kolumn is written by Karen Dolley, R.N. and Grange Friend… we appreciate her knowledge and her willingness to share! This month’s topic is especially timely and important… it looks like the cold temperatures have arrived!

The drug known as “bath salts” has been in the news a lot recently. This substance is NOT used for soaking in the tub! Bath salts are made for and intended for substance abuse!  Bath salts are also commonly referred to as Monkey Dust, Ocean, Ivory Wave, Vanilla Sky, and Purple Wave. Bath salts are often packaged as a household product and labeled “not for human consumption”. They are often sold in plastic baggies.

In the human brain, the chemicals in bath salts act like powerful stimulants and are very similar to amphetamines-speed, and ecstasy. Bath salts look like a white or light brown crumbly powder. They can be snorted, smoked, injected or swallowed.

There are severe side effects reported with bath salt use. Some of these include agitation, an increased heart rate, anxiety, nosebleeds, increased blood pressure, muscle spasms, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, aggressive behavior, paranoia, panic attacks, seizures, loss of appetite, dehydration, and memory loss. Bath salts can cause death from kidney failure, heart failure, or stroke. Symptoms can last for at least four or five days and they can come and go without warning. People who use bath salts report a strong urge to use more, even when they did not enjoy the effects previously. It is highly addictive. The long-term effects are not known! The effects on a fetus are not known!

On September 28, 2011, the State of Maine enacted a law making the possession and trafficking of bath salts illegal. On October 21, 2011, the Drug Enforcement Agency enacted an emergency measure which makes possessing and selling the chemicals in bath salts illegal. The Drug Enforcement Agency and the United Sates Department of Health and Human Services will take a year to determine whether bath salts should be permanently controlled.

Any time a person puts an uncontrolled or unregulated substance into their body, the effects are unknown and can be dangerous. Many law enforcement officials believe the chemicals in bath salts are made in China and India and are packaged to be sold over the internet or to be placed in convenience stores and smoke shops. The best decision….Do not use bath salts at all!

For more information on bath salts visit www.maine.gov/dhhs/osa, www.dea.gov, www.MaineParents.net, or the Northern New England Poison Center at www.mmc.org. If you suspect someone is under the influence of bath salts, do not confront them. The person may become violent or paranoid very quickly. Call 911 and report you suspect someone may have used bath salts.