Parade of Pirates Canceled

Guilford—Valley Grange of Guilford recently announced that in a joint agreement with the administration of SAD 4, the Parade of Pirates scheduled for June 10, 2020 is being canceled. In announcing the cancelation Valley Grange Program Director Walter Boomsma explained, “After reviewing the recent changes to Governor Mills’ Executive order we made the unhappy decision to cancel the event in keeping with the spirit of the order and everyone’s safety.”

Boomsma also reminded everyone that the purpose of the parade is not cancelled. “We just have to celebrate our community treasurers differently and more creatively.” He suggested that “even something as a simple card, email, letter, or email to someone and saying thanks for being part of our schools and communities and the area we live in.”

Valley Grange offers a number of programs to support area communities ranging from providing dictionaries to third graders to making “fabric hugs”—blankets for children in conjunction with Project Linus. The Guilford Grange has a long history of programs to support schools and kids. Boomsma had a special message for the students, parents, and teachers. “In these uncertain times, I promise you this. We’ll be back.”

Program Director Walter Boomsma explains the decision.

Parade of Pirates

Additional Information and Resources

New information being added regularly! Keep checking back!

Our communities and schools are a great place to live and learn! That’s worth celebrating! We also want to provide our kids with some sense of closure–the last day of school may be bittersweet, it’s also exciting!

Announcing a Parade of Pirates!

Grange and Community to Celebrate the Last Day of School

Guilford—Valley Grange of Guilford is sponsoring a Parade of Pirates to celebrate the final day of school for SAD 4 and “acknowledge our community treasures—schools, teachers, parents, kids—everyone who helps make this a great place to live and learn,” according to Walter Boomsma, Program Director of the Guilford-based Grange. Using the school mascot as a theme seemed appropriate, according to Boomsma. “While we might not approve of everything pirates did, the fact is they led exciting lives and in many cases built up huge treasures. That certainly describes life in our schools and communities.”

Scheduled for the final day of school, June 10, 2020, and start at 1:00 pm, the parade of vehicles will travel through the MSAD 4 Campus with appropriate waving, balloons, decorated vehicles, horn-blowing, and yelling. Teachers and staff will line the edges of the driveway in what Boomsma hopes becomes a “huge event” that marks the official end of the school year and the start of summer. Noting that many events are being canceled this year, he said, “We know we can do this safely. Drivers and passengers are instructed to remain in their vehicles while driving slowly and safely through the campus. Valley Grange members and volunteers will assist with directing traffic and maintaining social distancing.”

Noting that the event is not just for parents and kids, Boomsma said that community organizations, businesses—anyone who wants to celebrate our community treasures and accomplishments is invited to follow the parade through the campus.

Valley Grange Community Service Chair Mary Annis says she’s excited, “We have a great relationship with the school and kids thanks to programs like our Dictionary Day and Bookworming… We have been missing the kids and those activities we normally do. This seems like a great opportunity to take the focus off what we have missed this year and put it on what we have.”

Want to volunteer? We need a few people to help with directing traffic and keeping it moving… just send an email. Specific information and details will be listed soon! Check back often!

Exploring Traditions and Connections

Here you can watch and listen to the discussion between National Grange Communications Director Amanda Brozana Rio and author Walter Boomsma as they explore some of the topics from the book and what they mean to Grangers and Granges today–especially during the current pandemic.

Walter’s book is available from

VALLEY GRANGE ANNOUNCES AD CONTEST WINNERS

Guilford—Over forty 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 twelfth 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 Mark Arthers students labored to produce ads that would promote the Grange and its programs.

Boomsma pointed out “everyone who participated is a 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.”

Winners included Teegan Pomerleau (3rd place), Lillyon Boutilier  (2nd place), and Ava Edes (1st place). Ava’s ad included a book being devoured by a book worm and two people reading together, noting that “volunteers are needed” to “come help kids learn.”

Ava’s first place ad will appear in the Newspapers in Education supplement of the Piscataquis Observer. In addition, winning ads are used on the Grange’s promotional material throughout the year and featured on the Valley Grange Website.

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

Meetings and Events

After careful consideration, we have decided the following:

  • Our March Meeting (Friday, the 20th) is canceled.
  • Our March Blanketeering Event (Saturday, the 28th) is postponed–a new date will be announced when the COVID-19 situation allows for less “social distancing.”
  • The April Piscataquis Pomona Meeting (Thursday, April 2nd) is postponed–a new date will be announced when the COVID-19 situation allows for less “social distancing.”

With school being closed:

  • Newspapers in Education Contest Winners will be announced here and on the Valley Grange Facebook Page by the end of this week. Certificates and magnets will be distributed when students return to school.
  • Bookworms are standing by and will be scheduled at school when students return. We hope students will keep reading at home!

Thank you for your support and understanding. We’ll definitely keep you posted!

Adults Have Fun Too!

The fourth graders at PCES in Guilford recently worked on their ads for Valley Grange as part of yet another “Newspapers in Education” Contest. This is our twelfth year participating in The Piscataquis Observer’s Newspapers in Education Supplement by sponsoring an ad! The earliest winners are now graduated from high school. Maybe some are working in graphic arts or advertising.

Proving that the fun we have with this isn’t just for kids, Mr. Arthers, PCES art teacher, sketched a quick ad for us. Of course he’s disqualified from the competition but we thought you’d enjoy seeing his work!

Stay tuned… we’ll be announcing the contest winners shortly after our next meeting on March 20, 2020. If you come to that meeting you can help us judge the winners and make a magnetic certificate for every participant. And look for “our” ad in the supplement published on April 10, 2020.

Bookworm Schedule March 2020

Bookworm

Don’t forget your Bikes for Books entry when you finish a book!

Tuesday,  March 3— Mrs Bosworth will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m. Don’t forget to vote today!

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

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

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

Tuesday, March 17 — Mrs. Kimball will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

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

Friday, March  20 — Valley Grange Potluck Supper at 6 PM and meeting at 7 PM. We will be magnet making and judging Newspapers in Education Ads!

Tuesday, March 24 — Mrs. Kimball will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m. (Tentative date for announcing Newspapers in Education Winners.)

Thursday, March 26 — Mrs. Gilbert will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Saturday, March 28 — Blanketeers needed at Valley Grange, 9:00 am until noon.

Tuesday, March 31 — Mr. Boomsma will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Blanketeers Needed!

Volunteers will create blankets for children in need

Valley Grange of Guilford is sponsoring a blanket-making event on Saturday, March 28, 2020,  from 9:00 a.m. until noon and volunteers are needed! Organizer Pat Engstrom notes “no sewing skills are needed. If you can measure, cut a straight line with scissors and tie a simple knot you can become a ‘blanketeer’ and help support Project Linus.”

Project Linus, a non-profit organization, provides homemade blankets to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need. A similar event last year resulted in dozens of blankets being made by a diverse group of volunteers. Engstrom hopes to see the number of blankets made increased.

“We have a great time doing this and truly just about anyone can help. We created quite a production line and it sometimes gets competitive! It’s exciting to realize we’re providing love in the form of ‘blankies’ representing love, security, warmth, and comfort to kids.”

While supplies will be provided, volunteers are encouraged to bring scissors, rulers, and masking tape. Light refreshments will be served.

For additional information, contact Pat Enstrom at 564-8290. Valley Grange is located at 172 Guilford Center Road, at the corner of Butter Street.

POSTSCRIPT: There will also be a “sewing” Linus Project in Dover Foxcroft on April 18, 2020 at the Dover Foxcroft Congregational Church, from 9:00 am until 3 PM. Contact Cynthia Vaughn at 884-8898 for more information!

Town Meeting Time!

It’s town meeting season and time to do your civic duty by attending! And as long as you’re going, Valley Grange could use your help.

We appreciate the strong support we receive from individuals, communities and businesses. That support comes in the form of time and money. And since we’re good stewards, 100% of that support directly benefits our local communities in some way.

In spite of our best fundraising efforts, we continue to struggle to support everything we do. However, we are financially challenged every year. Therefore, for 2020 we’ve decided to turn to our local communities for some help. Earlier this a letter was mailed to each town that benefits from our Words for Thirds Dictionary Project. We are asking those towns to consider a small donation to Valley Grange as part of the town’s budget.

When you attend town meeting this year, please stay until the end when these warrant articles are reviewed and voted on. We’d genuinely appreciate a word or two of support from those who are familiar with our efforts to support our kids and communities. Thanks for ALL you do to keep Valley Grange “going and growing.”

As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas do not hesitate to contact a member of join us for a meeting!


View a copy of the letter sent to towns.

View the Valley Grange Fact Sheet summarizing our projects and programs.