Ad Winners Announced!

Olivia Riitano, Caroline Goggin, Caitlyn Drinkwater

Guilford–Over 100 third and fourth graders from Piscataquis Community Elementary School in Guilford were challenged to create an advertisement for Valley Grange as part of their annual “Newspapers in Education” Program. This is the fourth year the Grange has sponsored the program. Students have an opportunity to become “Honorary Assistant Publicity Directors” according to Walter Boomsma, Program and Publicity Director for Valley Grange. Thanks to WABI-TV5’s support of community and school events, these young scholars not only learned about print advertising, they got to experience a bit of television as well during the assembly conducted by Boomsma to announce the winners.

Boomsma pointed out “everyone who participated is winner” and the grange provides “thank you magnets you can use to hold your school papers on the fridge.” He also told the Channel Five team that the Grange was particularly pleased that nearly every ad included a reading theme and dictionaries, reflecting the students’ appreciation for the Grange’s Bookworm and Words for Thirds Programs. “Our goal with the kids is to create a love of reading and learning. These ads suggest we’re achieving it. In fact, some of the ads included the message, ‘Thank you for inspiring us.’”

Art Teacher Jane Daniels loves the fact that the program “gives the kids a practical use for art skills.”

Connor Chase, Anna Morin, Anna Fagan--this was as close to the girls as Connor would stand.

Third Grade winners announced at the recent school assembly included Connor Chase (3rd), Anna Morin (2nd), and Anna Fagan (1st). Anna’s first place drawing included apples with bookworms announcing “Valley Grange is a great place to read and have fun.” Fourth grade winners included Olivia Riitano (3rd), Caitlyn Drinkwater (2nd), and Caroline Goggin (1st). Caroline explained to WABI TV-5 news reporter Diana Bosch that she loves to read and had based her ad on her family.

All of the winners refused to give an acceptance speech with varying degrees of enthusiasm, but most were fascinated at the idea of seeing themselves on TV.

The ads selected as first place winners will appear in the Newspapers in Education supplement of the Piscataquis Observer on March 28th. In addition, winning ads are used on the grange’s promotional material throughout the year.

Valley Grange Master Jim Annis noted that the Grange is proud of their positive relationship with the kids and school. “We just love being here!” he said. “These kids are our future and they deserve our support.”

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The Power Of The Press Lives On!

Coming soon to a theatre near you?

While some talking heads are predicting the death of newspapers, Valley Grange can testify to the fact that the power of the press lives on! When we started our “blistered fingers knitters” promotion and Yarn Drive a few months ago we never really dreamed that our program would result in one knitter who lives in New Jersey joining the effort.

Things started with a feature article written by Shelia Grant for Hometown Newspapers… and the yarn started pouring in. Most area newspapers were happy to list collection points and help spread the word. Then just as collections started slowing down Bill Pearson of The Piscataquis Observer decided to showcase the story and included some follow-up information.

Shortly after that article appeared we heard from Roberta Fitzgerald in New Jersey, Roberta suggested that she’s actually more of a “calloused fingers” knitter, but she wanted to help us by knitting some hats for the kids. Roberta explained that her “roots to Dover-Foxcroft are actually my mother’s. She grew up in D-F and graduated from FA in 1939. Mom went to NJ in 1940 for nursing school, met her husband, and raised four daughters there. Every summer, however, we all came to Dover Foxcroft, staying at Sebec Lake, and made lots of memories with our Washburn cousins, aunts and uncles.”

One fascinating aspect of Roberta’s story includes  her explanation that in 2006 she began making extended visits to her mother after she’d been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Roberta explains, “One of the marvelous things that happened was I was able to re-teach her to knit. After church one Sunday, she signed up for knitting the Seaman’s scarves! Yikes! I was amazed that I was able to re-introduce her to knitting and I think it was really good for her. I know it had been at least 50 years (maybe more) since the last time she’d knitted anything.”

And now that legacy lives on. “I’m a compulsive knitter  who can’t justify watching TV without knitting needles or crochet hook in hand, so knitting some hats for elementary school kids in Guilford & Dover Foxcroft is easy to do!”

We’re pleased to welcome Roberta to the knitter’s circle and look forward to receiving her first batch of hats when she visits the area this summer. We also recently took delivery of 97 pairs of mittens from Debbie Burdin. Thanks to the improving weather we’ll be arranging storage until they are needed next fall. All our mittens and hats go to Piscataquis Community Elementary School, SeDoMoCha, or the Piscataquis Santa Project. We’re still collecting yarn for a few more weeks, so visit a bin near you if you have some to donate!

Thanks to our local area newspapers, writers, and reporters for helping us help our communities and kids! We even made the marque of Centre Theatre! The power of the press lives on!