River Festival Means Balloons and Baked Stuff!

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Kids Write!

We can’t resist sharing a few notes we’ve received from Mrs. Gokas’ Third Grade Class at Piscataquis Community Elementary School! The kids wrote them as part of wrapping up this school year and getting ready for summer.

Dear Valley Grange,

Thank you for all you do for our school. It means a lot to us. We enjoy all the stuff you help make happen. For example, Bookworm, Arts Alive, Words for Thirds, and GrowME. 

I have a lot of fun doing all of these programs you help with.

I like the dictionary that you gave us.

Thank you for letting us read to you and be able to have Arts Alive and other programs like Arts Alive.

K.W.

(We think she really likes Arts Alive!)


Dear Valley Grange,

Thank you for all that you have done for our school. We really appreciate it.

The GrowME Program was really fun. My grass plant is still alive.

The dictionary, Words for Thirds that you have given third grade has been really helpful for me in the time that has passed. 

The Bookworm Program has been really enjoyable in the passed two years. It has taught me to read more comfortably with other people each time.

The Arts Alive Program that you’ve helped with over the years have made it very enjoyable for our school.

Thank you so much!!

Sincerely,

D.W.


Dear Vally Grange,

Thank you for all the stuff you do for us.

A few things you do are GrowME, Word for Thirds, Bookworms, and Arts Alive.

You do that for our school.

From,

A.H.


Dear Valley Grange,

Thank you for all of the things you have done for us.

One thing you have done that I know that all of us appreciate is you giving all of us a dictionary. I know we use it a lot. 

The next thing you have done for us is that you put on the program GrowME. For example, this year we built dirt babies. That was really fun.

My favorite part is when you come in and have us read to you. I love to read with Bookworms.

Sincerely,

C.L.


Dear Third Graders,

Thank you for your letters. We are glad you enjoy and appreciate the things we do together. 

We really like learning, working, and playing with you. We have fun too!

Have a good summer. We’ll see you in the fall!

Sincerely,
Valley Grange Bookworms and Members

Lt. Kane to Be Honored–Again!

We’ve learned that Representative Paul Stearns will be presenting Lt. Jamie Kane with a Legislative Sentiment in recognition of receiving the Valley Grange Community Citizen of the year award. The presentation will take place on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at the Piscataquis County Commissioners Meeting. The meeting is open to the public and is held in the Peakes Building (white building) next to the Courthouse and starts at 8:30 am.

Congratulations, Lt. Kane!

Lt Jamie Kane, 2018 Citizen of the Year

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Jim Annis, Valley Grange Master; Lt Jamie Kane, Community Citizen; Walter Boomsma, Valley Grange Program Director. Photo Courtesy of Beth Weymouth.

Congratulations to Lt James Kane of the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office for his well-deserved receipt of the Valley Grange 2018 Community Citizen of the Year Award! And, thanks to the help of Tim Richardson and Chandra Kane, a large group of friends and family managed to totally surprise him. (He thought he was going fishing!)

In presenting the award, Valley Grange Master James Annis noted it’s a “high honor” and one that isn’t taken lightly. “Valley Grange values community and appreciates those who go ‘above and beyond’ to serve us.”

Additional testimonials and stories mentioned Lt. Kane’s role as a DARE officer at two schools and his get things done attitude when a need arises. When told a child being sponsored to attend a day camp didn’t have the proper clothing, shoes, and sleeping bag, “What do we do now?” Lt Kane said, without hesitation, “Let’s go shopping.” He even received a group hug from the girls’ baseball team he coaches at PCHS. PCHS Principal John Keane said, “I have been principal at six different schools in four districts and the best law enforcement official I have ever met.”

Describing the value of community and community service, Valley Grange Program Director challenged those present not to compare themselves to Lt Kane, “Don’t feel inadequate. Doing little things can add up. Let’s find more Lt Kanes and let’s each be a little more like him.”

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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!

Spring Cleaning! Help Needed!

sweeping_the_floor_400_clr_11612Please note this has been postponed until Tuesday, May 8, 2018, at 4 pm!

We’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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