Celebrate Community at Valley Grange!

Every year Valley Grange celebrates Community in May… our program includes announcing the “Valley Grange Community Citizen of the Year” for our area.

child-1477719_1280At March’s meeting, our members selected the 2018 winner by unanimous vote with no hesitation. I’m convinced a lot of folks will be really pleased… and will want to share in honoring this person at our Community Night on Friday, May 18, 2018. This year’s recipient is… a secret! Well, that’s not exactly true. A lot of people know who it is… we just can’t post it here. If you are really curious ask a member of Valley Grange! We have what has been described by one conspirator as a “sinister plot” to get our esteemed guest to attend.

If you like a mystery, just plan to join us on May 18, 2018. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed! We’ll start with a community potluck supper (bring a dish to share if you can). Our program will start at 7:00 pm and feature our Community Citizen as well as some important thoughts about community service and volunteering.

Valley Grange is located at 172 Guilford Center Road at the corner of Butter Street. Additional parking is available across the street. While our hall is not totally handicapped accessible, we do have a chairlift to the second floor. If you need accommodation or have concerns, please let us know. We can be quite creative and accommodating!

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Spring Cleaning! Help Needed!

sweeping_the_floor_400_clr_11612We’ve scheduled a “Spring Spruce up” for the Valley Grange Hall on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, starting at 4:00 pm. Projects include raking and repairing our lawn/parking area from winter plowing and general sprucing up outside, along with sweeping up, wiping down window sills, etc. inside. Many hands will make this work light… and we should be finished in an hour or two at the most. Please bring rakes, shovels, and tools you like to use!

We want to look our very best for Community Night on May 18, 2018!

If you have questions, please call (343-1842) or email Walter or Jim Annis (564-0820).

Where Does Chocolate Milk Come From?

GrowME logoAt least one second-grader from Guilford now knows it does NOT come from brown cows!

We completed activities at SeDoMoCha Elementary (353 students), Milo Elementary (121), Greenville Elementary (77 students), and Piscataquis Community Elementary (79 students) for a total of 630 students and 40 classes in four districts.

As impressive as the numbers are, we also should take pride in the impact we have on kids and teachers. Mrs. Kimball’s letter speaks to that… and our experience confirms it. For example, in several butter-making classes, we had “teachable moments” that included some math. In one case, the teacher and I “co-taught” a couple of math lessons… reinforcing my belief that relevance and curriculum fit is what makes this program work. In one kindergarten class, a young “farmer” shared that he has “6,000 horses” which he “rides and feeds every day.” (I whispered to the teacher, “I’ll bet you’ve told him a billion times not to exaggerate.”) I think he represents enough excitement for agriculture, farming, and the GrowME program that we may forgive him for his distortion.

A surprise visit from Channel Five and Channel Seven kept Mrs. Bosworth and I hopping during our last day of activities in Guilford. While Mrs. B tried to hide, she did end up in the story… and you’ll have to laugh at some of the faces the kids made while tasting apples:

Link to WABI TV5 Story:

http://www.wabi.tv/video/?vid=478695593

Link to Fox22/7 Story:

https://www.foxbangor.com/news/item/24685-growme-project-teaches-elementary-kids-farming-skills

A sincere thanks to those who contributed time, materials and support to this program. There’s always lots of growing in GrowME!


SeDo Thank You

 

Newspapers in Education Winners

“We started this program before some of you were born…” was the way Walter Boomsma, Valley Grange Program Director opened the recent assembly of third and fourth graders at Piscataquis Community Elementary School in Guilford. “The Newspapers in Education Program has been around for ten years now.” Boomsma went on to introduce Valley Grange members who were present for the assembly. “These are some of the people who make this program possible.”

The Piscataquis Observer based in Dover Foxcroft began publishing the special supplement every spring, featuring news about and by area students. Local businesses enlist local students to create ads for them. Most ads are done by middle and high school students, but the Grange saw an opportunity to include some younger artists. After collaboration with Mrs. Daniels, the art teacher at P.C.E.S, Valley Grange continues to sponsor two ads every year: one drawn by a third grader and another by a fourth grader. All students in both grades participate and Mrs. Daniels now includes the program as part of her art curriculum. “This is a great opportunity for the kids to experience the commercial aspect of art and see how they might explore a career in art,” she says.

Because the Grange actively supports the local elementary school with additional programs like Dictionary Day/Words for Thirds, Bookworming, and GrowME agricultural activities, the students can decide what to emphasize in the ads they draw. “It’s always personally rewarding to see the emphasis on reading and bookworming,” Boomsma notes. “These kids seem to understand what Valley Grange values and what it takes to make those things happen. The ads feature a ‘call to action’ that often encourages people to volunteer or become a member.” Boomsma also believes “some of these kids are destined to become Grangers.”

While the ads themselves are still under wraps until the supplement is published on April 11, 2018, this year’s winner list includes third graders Braylin Beckwith, first place; Chris Merrill, second place, and Aiden Graves, third place. Fourth Grade winners include Jaiyde True, first place; Lizzi Gilbert, second place; and Caleb McKusick, third place. Every student who participates receives a “mini” certificate in the form of a magnet.

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Aiden Graves, Braylin Beckwith, Chris Merrill, Lizzi Gilbert, Jaiyde True, Caleb McKusick. The monkey on Lizzi’s head is explained by the fact it was “Crazy Hair Day” when students and staff have the option of doing something crazy with their hair!

Bookworm Schedule for April 2018

Reading is fun!

Tuesday, April 3 – GrowME Day! Ag activities with Mr. Boomsmsa and Mrs. Bosworth in Grades K, 1, 2, and 3.

Thursday, April 5 – Mrs. Orton will be at school to read starting at 10:10 a.m.

Tuesday, April 10 — Mrs. Lockwood will be at school to read starting at 10:10 a.m.

Wednesday, April 11 — Check out the Newspapers in Education Supplement in the Piscataquis Observer.

Thursday, April 12 — Mrs. Kimball will be at school to read starting at 10:10 a.m.

Friday, April 13 — Bikes for Books Assembly — early dismissal for vacation next week!

Friday, April 20 — Join us at Valley Grange for a potluck supper at 6 p.m. and program starting at 7 p.m.! No school today!

Tuesday, April 24 — Ms. Erwin will be at school to read starting at 10:10 a.m.

Thursday, April 26 — Mr. Boomsma will be at school to read starting at 10:10 a.m.

 

Don’t forget! Bikes for Books is underway… get an entry form for every book you read–even the ones you read with Bookworms!

Remember… every Tuesday at 5:30 pm, kids and parents can join Miss Dunton in the PCES Cafeteria for the first “Tuesdays Together” Program — an after-school program featuring cutting edge design thinking and problem-solving.

 

Blanketeer Support

Here are a couple of links that will help those who want to support the Blanketeers for Project Linus:

FA Project Linus Facebook Page

FA Project Linus GoFundME Page

Help comes in many different shapes and sizes.

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First County Agent in Piscataquis County…

Grangers will likely enjoy this article penned (keyboarded?) by Mary Annis–President of the Dover Foxcroft Historical Society and Secretary of Valley Grange #144 in Guilford, Maine. Set in the early 1900’s, Annis tells the story of how the “young whippersnapper” Henry Bodwell became the first county agent in Piscataquis County and met with a great deal of resistance from “UncleFrank” Merrill, the master of the South Dover Grange who was best described as “240 pounds of pure sarcasm.”

Over 300 farmers and their wives were in attendance to hear “Uncle Frank”, as the popular Grange Master was known throughout the county, expound on what he thought of the appointment [of Bodwell as County Agent]. From his remarks, nobody doubted that the going ahead would be anything but smooth for the young man that “Uncle Frank” had so sarcastically referred to as that little “whipper snapper.”

Well-researched, the article includes stories as told by Bodwell himself and will help readers understand the important role the Grange played in Agriculture and the community in general. The story of how the “young whippersnapper” wins over “Uncle Frank” and his fellow farmers is a timely lesson even though it happened 100 years ago. It takes some creativity on his part, but the young county agent wins an opportunity to explain to Grangers and farmers that his, “job as County Agent can be compared to just what is happening here on your farm today, namely neighbors cooperating with one another to aid in a common cause.”

View, print, and download the article.

Annis, Mary, “Joseph Henry Bodwell Becomes First County Agent in Piscataquis County” (2017). Cooperative Extension – Agriculture. 14.
https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/extension_ag/14

Blanketeers Help Kids Feel Safe

A diverse group of volunteers were at Valley Grange in Guilford Saturday to help make kids feel safe, according to this report by WABI – TV 5.

”Blanketeers” Make Homemade Blankets

Bookworm Schedule for March 2018

Reading is fun!

Third and Fourth Graders--Thanks for your Newspapers in Education advertisements! We’ll be announcing the winners soon… See Mrs. Daniels or Mr. Boomsma for more information!

Thursday, March 1 – Mrs. Lander will be at school to read starting at 10:10 a.m.

Tuesday, March 6 – Mrs. Lockwood will be at school to read starting at 10:10 a.m.

Thursday, March 8 – Ms. Erwin will be at school to read starting at 10:10 a.m.

Tuesday, March 13 — Mrs. Orton will be at school to read starting at 10:10 a.m.

Thursday, March 15 — Ms. Erwin will be at school to read starting at 10:10 a.m.

Friday, March 16 — Join us at Valley Grange for a potluck supper at 6 p.m. and program starting at 7 p.m.! No school today!

Tuesday, March 20 — Mrs. Lander will be at school to read starting at 10:10 a.m.

Thursday, March 22 — Mrs. Kimball will be at school to read starting at 10:10 a.m.

Tuesday, March 27 – Ms. Lockwoodwill be at school to read starting at 10:10 a.m.

Thursday, March 29 — Mrs. Kimball will be at school to read starting at 10:10 a.m.

Don’t forget! Bikes for Books is underway… get an entry form for every book you read–even the ones you read with Bookworms!

Remember… every Tuesday at 5:30 pm, kids and parents can join Miss Dunton in the PCES Cafeteria for the first “Tuesdays Together” Program — an after-school program featuring cutting edge design thinking and problem-solving.

 

Blanketeers Sought!

Saturday, March 3, 2018, Project Linus Volunteer Blanketeers will meet at Valley Grange from 9 AM until noon… no sewing skills required! If you can measure, cut a straight line with scissors and tie a knot you can help make blankets for Project Linus!  The material will be provided… it will be helpful if folks bring scissors, rulers, and masking tape. Students from FA will be joining us… and we are inviting quilting and sewing clubs to lend a hand. A similar event last year resulted in over thirty blankets to provide love, a sense of security, warmth, and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need. Contact Pat Engstrom at 564-8290 for more information.

Project Linus

Visit the Project Linus Website