Thanks again, Lt Kane!

An enthusiastic group of well-wishers and supporters took time out of a beautiful spring day to partake of Valley Grange’s free community supper in honor of Lt. Jamie Kane’s recent selection of the Grange Northeast Region Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award. Vicki Huff, Past Master of the Maine State Grange, was on hand to complete the formal presentation, noting that this really is a “big deal” considering that Kane was selected at the Northeast Regional Conference representing all of the New England States and New York. Huff said that from the stories she’s heard and previous conversations with Kane she knows he does what he does because he loves doing it–not for the awards or recognition–and that is just one of many reasons he deserves it.

Walter Boomsma, Valley Grange Program Director said that there’s a “…notable change in attitudes towards law enforcement due in a large part to Kane’s work at Piscataquis Community Elementary School. The kids are developing an understanding that law enforcement is a very positive resource in our community. They run to him, not away from him.”

During his closing remarks, Boomsma noted that it’s great that as a society we have normalized thanking Veterans for their service. “We think nothing of walking up to a complete stranger, shaking his or her hand and saying thanks for your service. That is as it should be. But we truly have an opportunity to do the same for law enforcement officers who are putting their lives on the line for us every day. Tonight we honor Lt. Kane and many will shake his hand and say thanks. But just maybe we should do that with every officer we meet in our daily lives. These men and women are making incredible contributions and helping us build strong communities.”

Bookworm Schedule for May 2019

Celebrate spring with a book… reading can take you anywhere! We also have some exciting things happening at Valley Grange in May!
Bookworm

Thursday, May 2 — Mr. Boomsma will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, May 7 — Ms. Erwin will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Bookworms, members, and volunteers meet at the Grange Hall for a “work party.” Bring rakes, etc. as we spring clean our hall inside and out… we’ll take all the help we can get!

Thursday, May 9 — Mrs. Kimball will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Saturday, May 11 — Celebration honoring Lt Jamie Kane at Valley Grange... free bbq turkey supper at 6 pm, award at 7:15 pm!

Tuesday,  May 14 — Mrs. Orton will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Wednesday, May 15Art Exhibit opens at 4:30 pm and Spring Concert Starts at 5:30 pm. Book Fair in the library during the Art Exhibit!

Thursday, May 16 — Ms. Erwin will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Friday, May 17Valley Grange Community Celebration! Potluck Supper at 6 pm, Meeting at 7 pm. Among the other exciting things, we’ll be announcing our Community Citizen of the Year.

Tuesday, May 21 — Mr. Boomsma will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m. This is also GrowME Day for Grades One through Three.

Wednesday, May 22GrowME Day for Kindergarten!

Thursday, May 23 — Mrs. Orton will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m. Fifth Grade Play at 6:30 pm!

Tuesday, May 28— Mrs. Lander will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, May 30 — Mrs. Orton will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m. DARE Graduation at 7:00 pm!

Remember the Yearbook Team meets with Mr. Boomsma every  Thursday at 12:10.

Community Night at Valley Grange!

This is our annual celebration of our communities and their citizens. Please join us!

Newspapers in Education Winners Announced

Third and fourth graders from Piscataquis Community Elementary School in Guilford were challenged to create an advertisement for Valley Grange as part of the annual “Newspapers in Education” program sponsored by the Piscataquis Observer. This is the eleventh 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. Under the direction of Art Teacher Jane Daniels students labored to produce ads that would promote the grange and its programs.

The winning ads were featured during an assembly conducted at school by Boomsma on Thursday, April 4, 2019. Boomsma pointed out “everyone who participated is winner” and the Grange is providing “thank you magnets you can use to hold your school papers on the fridge.” Boomsma also noted that the Grange was particularly pleased so many ads included a reading theme and dictionaries, reflecting the students’ appreciation for the Grange’s Bookworm and Words for Thirds Program. “Our goal with the kids is to create a love of reading and learning. These ads suggest we’re achieving it.”

Third Grade winners announced at the recent school assembly conducted by the Grange included Kaydance Benson (3rd), and Macie Littlefield (1st). Macie’s first place drawing encouraged folks to visit the Valley Grange Website and included a bookworm.” Fourth grade winners included Ruth Harford (3rd), Prudence Bridge (2nd), and Danika Wyman (1st). Danika’s ad headline was “Make Your Voice Heard” and encouraged volunteering at Valley Grange to “help school kids learn and grow!”

All of the winners refused to give an acceptance speech with varying degrees of enthusiasm, but most were “media darlings” when interviewed and photographed by local reporter Stuart Hedstrom.

The ads selected as first place winners will appear in the Newspapers in Education supplement of the Piscataquis Observer on April 17, 2019. In addition, winning ads are used on the Grange’s promotional material throughout the year.

Valley Grange Master Jim Annis said that Valley Grange is happy to sponsor a number of programs at PCES and other schools in the area. “We just love being at the school,” he noted. “These kids are our future and they give us hope.”

Community to Honor Lt Kane

Save the date! Spread the word! Come to help us celebrate this honor and thank Lt. Kane for everything he does for our communities!

Lt Kane Honored — Again!

Valley Grange again had the pleasure of surprising Lt James Kane of the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department–this time during his DARE class with Mrs. Cleaves fifth graders at Piscataquis Community Elementary School. As he was finishing up the lesson, there was a knock on the door. The class announced in unison, “Come in!” The door opened and in marched Mr. Gregory’s fifth-graders carrying a banner reading “Congratulations, Lt. Kane!” He looked a bit bewildered as they presented him with hand-made cards of congratulations. They were followed by PCES Principal Anita Wright, PSCSS Principal John Keane, SAD 4 Superintendent Kellie McFayden and several members of the media.


Kane, ever humble, joked that he was “going to start avoiding Mr. Boomsma.”

Walter Boomsma, program director for Valley Grange, explained that last year Lt Kane was honored as Valley Grange’s Community Citizen of the Year and the Maine State Grange Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. “We just recently learned that he’s also been selected the Grange Northeast Region Law Enforcement Officer of the year, which is pretty cool because it includes all of New England and New York.”

Boomsma noted that we “haven’t received the official plaque yet but we do have a couple of things for you,” presenting Kane with a a block of cheese labelled “big cheese” and a banana labeled “top banana.” “We think you’re a pretty big cheese and you’re our top banana.”

“I want to thank you very much, I do not do it for any other reason than I enjoy being with the kids,” Kane said. He also thanked the teachers and administrators he has worked with.

Kane told the students the cards will go up on the wall in his office.

Boomsma further noted that the Grange is all about building strong rural communities and “people like Lt. Kane are among the greatest resources we have. I have seen his work. It’s boots on the ground and goes far beyond the job he has. One reason we decided to announce the award here today is I know what the kids mean to him and I know what he means to the kids.

Valley Grange will be announcing a public event which will give the community an opportunity to thank Lt. Kane. “It’s become quite normal for folks to walk up to veterans and thank them for their service,” Boomsma noted. “That’s as it should be but maybe we should also normalize thanking law enforcement officers who literally put their lives on the line every day.”

With this award, Kane also becomes eligible for the Grange National Honor which will be announced in the fall.

Later that morning, Kane met with first and second graders to talk about how kids can help and support policemen. (Photo by Khloe Kimball)

Bookworm Schedule for April 2019

Avoid cabin fever by curling up with a book… reading can take you anywhere!
Bookworm

Tuesday, April 2 — Mr. Boomsma will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, April 4  — Ms. Erwin will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m. We will also have our Newspapers in Education Awards with third and fourth grade following morning meeting.

Tuesday, April 9 — Mrs. Kimball will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday,  April 11 — Mrs. Kimball will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Friday, April 12 — Bikes for Books Assembly!

Friday, April 15 — Valley Grange Meeting! Potluck Supper at 6 pm, Meeting at 7 pm. Among the other exciting things, we’ll be electing our Community Citizen of the Year and judging the Newspapers in Education ads!

Wednesday, April 17 — Newspapers in Education Supplement will be published in the Piscataquis Observer

Tuesday, April 23 — Mrs. Orton will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, April 24  — Ms. Ewin will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, April 30 — Mr. Boomsma will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Remember the Yearbook Team meets with Mrs. Daniels every Tuesday and Thursday at 12:10.

Bookworm Schedule for March 2019

Avoid cabin fever by curling up with a book… reading can take you anywhere!
Bookworm

Tuesday, March 5 — Mrs. Lander will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, March 7  — Mr. Boomsma will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, March 12 — Mrs. Kimball will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday,  March 14 — Mrs. Kimball will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m. Happy Valentines Day! This is also the deadline for the Newspapers in Education Advertisements!

Friday, March 15 — Valley Grange Meeting! Potluck Supper at 6 pm, Meeting at 7 pm. Among the other exciting things, we’ll be electing our Community Citizen of the Year and judging the Newspapers in Education ads!

Tuesday, March 19 — Mrs. Erwin will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, March 21  — Mr. Boomsma will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, March 26 — Ms. Erwin will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, March 28 — Ms. Erwin will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Remember the Yearbook Team meets with Mrs. Daniels every Tuesday and Thursday at 12:10.

February Meeting Rescheduled!

snow-shovel-2001776_640Our February meeting has been postponed by one week from this Friday until Friday, February 22, 2019. We’ll have the usual potluck at 6 pm, meeting at 7 pm. The weather forecast is part of the reason but several other factors have come into play.

Please help us get the word out… this will be posted on the Valley Grange Facebook Page and a Grange Gram will be sent today.

By way of a hint, we are expecting some special guests… and don’t forget we will be discussing who will be our 2019 Community Citizen of the Year along with some updates regarding Newspapers in Education and our GrowME program.

Sorry for any inconvenience! I wonder if the Secret Shoveler will arrive now that there’s more time to get the steps cleared…

Secret Shoveler Strikes!

snow-shovel-2001776_640I headed to the Grange Hall yesterday with a deep sense of foreboding, trying not to imagine how much snow would be piled up on the steps and porch. There’d been at least three significant storms since someone was last there. I’d even loaded several types of shovels in case I encountered layers of ice and hard crust.

Imagine my surprise when I arrived to find only a little light snow to remove. It seems a secret shoveler had arrived at some point during recent weeks and removed the major accumulations. If you happened to drive by at the moment I discovered that you’d have seen me leaping for joy at the base of the steps!

The identity of the secret shoveler at this point is, well, a secret! The only evidence remaining was a pink snow shovel left on the porch. Since the shoveler was probably wearing gloves, it will not be dusted for fingerprints. It will, however, remain on the porch either to be reclaimed by its rightful owner or to be used by those who might be inclined to stop at the hall after a snowstorm and clear off the steps.

To our secret shoveler, we say, “Thanks!” It’s great to live in a community where folks help each other and the community. While we’re being grateful, we owe a big thanks to Jim French of French Construction for keeping our parking lot plowed during the winter!

Valley Grange does our best to remain “open for business” throughout the winter and knowing that it’s a community effort strengthens our resolve. This Thursday (February 7) we are hosting the Piscataquis Pomona Grange meeting with a potluck supper at 6 pm and meeting at 7 pm. On Friday (February 15) we’ll get together for our regular monthly meeting which also includes a potluck supper at 6 pm and meeting at 7 pm. We’ll be discussing our annual Community Night in May and selection of Community Citizen of the Year 2019. You’re invited to join us and help!

Remember this. Hold on to this. This is the only perfection there is, the perfection of helping others. This is the only thing we can do that has any lasting meaning. This is why we’re here. To make each other feel safe.

Andre Agassi