Raffle Winners Announced

Maine State Grange Past Master Rick Groton drew the winning tickets from the large rotating basket made by Roger Ricker:

  • First Place, Wayne Bennett of Abbot.
  • Second Place, Sierra Hanson of Charleston.
  • Third Place, Reid Burgess of Dover Foxcroft.

Special thanks to McKusick Petroleum and Will’s Shop ‘n Save for their generous support of or annual meat or heat raffle! Those who participate help us keep the lights on and our community service programs running.

 

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Dictionary Days!

New DictionaryMonday, October 16, 2017
SeDoMoCha Dictionary Day!

Thursday, October 26, 2017
P.C.E.S. Dictionary Day!

Friday, October 27, 2017
Brownville Dictionary Day!

Third graders will be getting their dictionaries compliments of Valley Grange… for more information contact Mr. Boomsma.  We’ll be coming to Ridgeview Elementary and Harmony Elementary soon!

Parents of home-schooled children are invited to contact your school or a Valley Grange Member.

Bookworms Start Wiggling!

FReading is fun!riday, October 14 at 8:00 a.m. Bookworm Assembly at PCES in the gym following morning assembly!

Tuesday, October 18 Mr. Boomsma will be at school to read at 8:45 a.m.

Thursday, October 20 Mrs. Lander will be at school to read at 8:45 a.m.

Tuesday, October 25 Mrs. Erwin will be at school to read at 8:45 a.m.

Thursday, October  27 Mr. Boomsma will be at school to read at 8:45 a.m.

Friday, October 28 is PCES Dictionary Day!! Third graders visit Valley Grange at 11 a.m. for a presentation and to receive their dictionaries…

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2016 — 2017 Meeting Schedule

While there are still some “tentatives” and “to be determineds” we have our meeting schedule for the Grange Year 2016-2017. Download your copy:

valley-grange-schedule

And stay tuned! We are in the process of counting kids and planning dictionary days…

Valley Granger cited in Dictionary Project Newsletter

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Sponsor Spotlight: Walter Boomsma, Valley Grange #144

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Enthusiasm is important to the success of any project, but it is not the only ingredient. Although enthusiasm is frequently the catalyst, the jump-start that gets the engine going, it is commitment that provides for the life and continuity of a dictionary project. Commitment, or the state of being whole-heartedly dedicated to a cause, is what has driven Walter Boomsma to continue The Dictionary Project for the Valley Grange #144 for the past eight years. “My passion is kids first, second and third,” said Boomsma and The Dictionary Project appreciates his efforts to ensure that today’s children have a bright future.

Read the entire article here.

Harmony in Harmony!

Third graders at Harmony Elementary School agreed–the dictionary is a pretty awesome book! This was our last–and smallest–dictionary day of 2014, with almost as many Valley Grange members visiting as there were third graders!

Our “Words for Thirds Program” now includes four school districts and we handed out over 200 dictionaries this year! Thanks to everyone who supports this project in some way–we are making a difference.

Dictionary Day at Ridgeview Elementary

Mr. Boomsma demonstrates the pruning hook to some seriously interested students.

Mr. Boomsma demonstrates the pruning hook to some seriously interested students.

Mr. Annis, Mr. Carroll and Mr. Boomsma recently truck-pooled to Dexter carrying along the staves, RFD mailbox and several cases of dictionaries–a sure sign that another Dictionary Day was about to happen in our area. This is our first year in AOS 94 and weren’t the kids excited!

One young lady thought perhaps the “pruning hook” was used to get prunes off trees–not an unreasonable guess when you think about it. English is a strange language and she perhaps demonstrated the value of a dictionary!

We have one more Dictionary Day to go this year. Harmony Elementary School will be our last but certainly not our least recipient of dictionaries through our “Words for Thirds” initiative. When we put away the props, we will have visited with six schools and twelve classes. Most importantly, we will have placed a dictionary in the hands of over 200 third grade graders.

Special thanks to Mrs. Hersey for coordinating our visit–and to the staff and teachers for helping us begin what we pledge to make an annual event. We also appreciate the community support we receive when fundraising for this project. Contributions can always be sent to Valley Grange, c/o Mary Annis, 28 Orchard Road, Dover Foxcroft ME 04426.

Winston Churchill said, “There is no finer investment a community can make than putting milk into the mouths of babies.” We think putting dictionaries into the hands of third graders is a close second.

Ridgeview third graders get ready for a "dictionary race."

Ridgeview third graders get ready for a “dictionary race.”

 

Kids Say “Thanks!”

Mrs. Kennedy's PCES Third Graders included a thank you photo.

Mrs. Kennedy’s PCES Third Graders included a thank you photo.

Reading the thank you letters kids send for their dictionaries is almost as much fun as handing out the dictionaries! The kids usually have some fun things to say and will often add a colorful drawing to demonstrate their artistic flair. Here are a few of their comments selected randomly.

“Thank you to you and the Valley Grange members for the free dictionaries. I now know the capitols of mostly all of the states. Also I liked Captain Battick’s whistle and his sword. He also has a cool uniform and hat. My dictionary is awesome. It even shows sign language too. And thanks for the dictionaries again, Logan.”

“Thank you to you and Valley Grange members. I love this dictionary. I always wanted one of my own dictionary. You can look up anything in the world! Tell Captain Battick I said hi, Caline”

“Thanks for the dictionaries and telling us what the words mean. I had a great time. I hope I can come again. Where was the first Grange built? I hope I can come again, Gage.”

“Thank you for letting us come to your Grange. I loved the part when we did a dictionary race. I also loved the part when we got to the meet the Navy Captain. Can we come back again soon? The dictionarys are very helpful to us. Thank you! Kassyde”

“I liked the field trip a lot. And Captain Battick was cool so much a lot. And thanks for the dictionaries. I read it a lot. Jesse”

We should perhaps explain that Captain (Jack) Battick is a featured guest when the kids come to Valley Grange. He explains the role of Navy in the Civil War as part of the history of the Grange, formed shortly after the war was over.

So far this year we’ve visited Milo and Brownville Elementary School and we’ve been visited by Piscataquis Community Elementary School and SeDoMoCha Elementary. Our next trip is taking us to Ridgeview Elementary School in Dexter on November 13, and we wrap up 2014 Dictionary Days with a visit to Harmony Elementary. We will have given out over 200 dictionaries this year when we have finished. Parents of home schooled third graders are urged to contact their local school to arrange for a dictionary–our goal is to reach as many kids as we can!

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Mrs. Patten’s PCES Third Graders show off their dictionaries.

“Mr. Boomsma” featured in Maine Seniors Magazine

Mr. Boomsma making discoveries with Kendall Kimball, one of his many young friends at Piscataquis Community Elementary School. (Kendall's chosen career is to be a pop star when she grows up and she's already proving to be a "media darling.")

Mr. Boomsma making discoveries with Kendall Kimball, one of his many young friends at Piscataquis Community Elementary School. (Kendall’s chosen career is to be a pop star when she grows up and she readily agreed to be photographed for the article, already proving she is a “media darling.”)

Known to the kids as “Mr. Boomsma,” Valley Grange Program Director Walter Boomsma is the subject of a special article in the October Issue of Maine Seniors Magazine. Maine Seniors is a high quality magazine published right here in Maine and distributed throughout the state featuring “community icons” and “prime movers”—seniors who are making a difference in their communities and state.

Starting on page 32 of the October Issue, you’ll find a well-illustrated article about Boomsma’s passion for kids and how he discovered it after joining Valley Grange. “Each Grange can choose its own projects, reflecting local needs and interests. That’s how the Valley Grange, whose area stretches from Monson to Milo, came to focus so strongly on children. And how Boomsma—who talks with his hands and quotes Socrates—built a life around it.

A digital copy of the article will be available on http://wboomsma.com and the entire issue will be accessible at http://meseniors.com before the month is over. The article features some of Valley Grange’s initiatives such as Words for Thirds, Bookworming, and the GrowME project while telling some of his favorite stories about working with kids.

But it also makes clear the fact that Mr. Boomsma believes it’s not about programs. The programs he likes “are really just an excuse to do the real work.”

Written by Donna Halvorsen of Portland, an accompanying article expands and explains the role of the Grange—a Historic Tradition—in Maine.

Dictionary Days Are Scheduled!

dictionaryprojIt’s Dictionary Season! This is a fun time of year for Valley Grangers as we get to fill many little hands that reach out for the Dictionary we provide as part of our “Words for Thirds” Dictionary Project.

This year we will make our annual trek over to SAD 41 on Tuesday, October 15th, stopping at Milo Elementary first thing in the morning and Brownville Elementary closer to noon. Our “road trip” includes third grade classroom visits talking about the Grange Staves representing farmers’ tools and the role of the Grange in getting R.F.D. started.

PCES Third Graders will celebrate their Dictionary Day with a field trip to the Grange Hall on Friday, October 17 at 12:15 pm where they are greeted by “Captain Battick” — a Civil War Navy Captain. Captain Battick explains a bit about the Navy’s role in the Civil War and teaches the Navy Salute! He is most often joined by “Miss Mary” in her pink day dress who explains that “you couldn’t show your ankles and wrists in those days–it was considered improper.” We also discuss “stewardship” and hear from several sixth graders who received their dictionaries three years ago.

SeDoMoCha Third Graders have a similar opportunity on Monday, October 27 when they arrive at the Valley Grange Hall at 9:00 AM for lessons and dictionaries. This is our largest group this year–we expect over seventy third graders!

New this year but not yet scheduled are Dictionary Days at Ridgeview Elementary School in Dexter and Harmony Elementary School in Harmony! We don’t have a definite date yet, but we promise we are coming! Look for Grangers with Dictionaries most likely in early November. We’re excited to be adding another District to our list! With this addition, we are now covering four districts, six schools and putting dictionaries in the hands of over 200 young scholars every year!

Photo by Bob Carroll

Photo by Bob Carroll

Parents of children who are homeschooled are encouraged to contact their local school for information about participating in “Dictionary Day” by attending the program or to receive a dictionary if attending isn’t possible.

Our experience with the kids “re-convinces” us every year of the importance and power of this project. According to The Dictionary Project website, “…Even for children with computer access, a dictionary provides benefits a computer cannot. Dictionaries are portable and can be used anywhere. A child has a sense of ownership of a book that encourages exploration. And only a dictionary can provide that delightful experience of looking up a word and getting sidetracked by all the other fascinating words on the same page.”

This program is made possible by the support of our communities and those individuals who purchase raffle tickets or make cash contributions. If you’d like to help us empower these young scholars with their very own dictionary, you can send a donation to Valley Grange, c/o Secretary Mary Annis, 28 Orchard Road, Dover Foxcroft ME 04426. Together we are building the future.