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

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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.

 

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…

dictionaryproj

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

WBKK 1EMAIL
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!

PCES-PatSM

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.