That’s a lot of dictionaries!

This year’s pledge certificate from The Dictionary Project confirming Valley Grange has distributed close to 3,000 dictionaries throughout the area since starting our program! It’s great to be part of this! It’s almost inconceivable that the project has reached over 32 million students!

Valley Grange is Getting Busy!

The dictionaries for this year’s “Words for Thirds” program are on order (9 cases!). That meaans Dictionary Days are coming soon! But that’s not all that’s happening!

Bookworms will also be starting their visits to PCES in just a few weeks… We’ll have exact dates for these programs very soon!

Some dates we’re already sure of:

  • Tuesday, October 15 is SeDoMoCha Dictionary Day!
  • Friday, October 18 we’ll have our regular monthly meeting–potluck supper at 6 PM and meeting at 7 PM.
  • Tuesday, October 22 is P.C.E.S. Dictionary Day!
  • Thursday, October 25 is Bookworm Kickoff Day!
  • Friday October 25, Piscataquis County 4-H Clubs will have their annual awards dinner and celebration at Valley Grange starting at 5 PM.
  • Friday, November 15, Valley Grange hosts the Spirit of America Awards for Piscataquis County starting at 7 PM. We’ll also have a Community Social Hour following the meeting with drinks and desserts–and we’ll draw the winners of our Meat or Heat Raffle.

We could really use your help this year with our raffle! See a Grange member, stop by an event… buy some tickets and help us continue to support our communities!

River Festival Fun!

Plans are underway… if you’d like to help us with baked goods, please contact Janice Boomsma (876-4131) or Pat Engstom (564-8290). We’re looking for individual portions of things like cookies and brownies. This will be a fun day!

Thanks again, Lt Kane!

An enthusiastic group of well-wishers and supporters took time out of a beautiful spring day to partake of Valley Grange’s free community supper in honor of Lt. Jamie Kane’s recent selection of the Grange Northeast Region Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award. Vicki Huff, Past Master of the Maine State Grange, was on hand to complete the formal presentation, noting that this really is a “big deal” considering that Kane was selected at the Northeast Regional Conference representing all of the New England States and New York. Huff said that from the stories she’s heard and previous conversations with Kane she knows he does what he does because he loves doing it–not for the awards or recognition–and that is just one of many reasons he deserves it.

Walter Boomsma, Valley Grange Program Director said that there’s a “…notable change in attitudes towards law enforcement due in a large part to Kane’s work at Piscataquis Community Elementary School. The kids are developing an understanding that law enforcement is a very positive resource in our community. They run to him, not away from him.”

During his closing remarks, Boomsma noted that it’s great that as a society we have normalized thanking Veterans for their service. “We think nothing of walking up to a complete stranger, shaking his or her hand and saying thanks for your service. That is as it should be. But we truly have an opportunity to do the same for law enforcement officers who are putting their lives on the line for us every day. Tonight we honor Lt. Kane and many will shake his hand and say thanks. But just maybe we should do that with every officer we meet in our daily lives. These men and women are making incredible contributions and helping us build strong communities.”

MPR to Explore the Role of the Grange

Valley Grange Program Director Walter Boomsma will be a featured guest

Maine Calling is a daily program airing on Maine Public Radio that “brings you interesting conversations with interesting people on just about any and all subjects.” Grangers will definitely be interested in the program scheduled to air on Friday, May 3, 2019, at 1 pm. Featuring Walter Boomsma, author of the book, Exploring Traditions–Celebrating the Grange Way of Life, and Vicki Huff, past master of the Maine State Grange, will be featured studio guests. Several representatives of successful Granges in Maine will also be calling in as will National Grange Communications Director Amanda Brozana Rio.

The program will be aired statewide. For a list of stations, visit the Maine Public Radio Website. The program will be recorded and offered as a podcast. To access the podcast after the program airs or for more information visit the Maine Calling Webpage.

Bookworm Schedule for May 2019

Celebrate spring with a book… reading can take you anywhere! We also have some exciting things happening at Valley Grange in May!
Bookworm

Thursday, May 2 — Mr. Boomsma will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, May 7 — Ms. Erwin will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Bookworms, members, and volunteers meet at the Grange Hall for a “work party.” Bring rakes, etc. as we spring clean our hall inside and out… we’ll take all the help we can get!

Thursday, May 9 — Mrs. Kimball will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Saturday, May 11 — Celebration honoring Lt Jamie Kane at Valley Grange... free bbq turkey supper at 6 pm, award at 7:15 pm!

Tuesday,  May 14 — Mrs. Orton will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Wednesday, May 15Art Exhibit opens at 4:30 pm and Spring Concert Starts at 5:30 pm. Book Fair in the library during the Art Exhibit!

Thursday, May 16 — Ms. Erwin will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Friday, May 17Valley Grange Community Celebration! Potluck Supper at 6 pm, Meeting at 7 pm. Among the other exciting things, we’ll be announcing our Community Citizen of the Year.

Tuesday, May 21 — Mr. Boomsma will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m. This is also GrowME Day for Grades One through Three.

Wednesday, May 22GrowME Day for Kindergarten!

Thursday, May 23 — Mrs. Orton will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m. Fifth Grade Play at 6:30 pm!

Tuesday, May 28— Mrs. Lander will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, May 30 — Mrs. Orton will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m. DARE Graduation at 7:00 pm!

Remember the Yearbook Team meets with Mr. Boomsma every  Thursday at 12:10.

Community Night at Valley Grange!

This is our annual celebration of our communities and their citizens. Please join us!

Newspapers in Education Winners Announced

Third and 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 eleventh 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 Jane Daniels students labored to produce ads that would promote the grange and its programs.

The winning ads were featured during an assembly conducted at school by Boomsma on Thursday, April 4, 2019. Boomsma pointed out “everyone who participated is 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.”

Third Grade winners announced at the recent school assembly conducted by the Grange included Kaydance Benson (3rd), and Macie Littlefield (1st). Macie’s first place drawing encouraged folks to visit the Valley Grange Website and included a bookworm.” Fourth grade winners included Ruth Harford (3rd), Prudence Bridge (2nd), and Danika Wyman (1st). Danika’s ad headline was “Make Your Voice Heard” and encouraged volunteering at Valley Grange to “help school kids learn and grow!”

All of the winners refused to give an acceptance speech with varying degrees of enthusiasm, but most were “media darlings” when interviewed and photographed by local reporter Stuart Hedstrom.

The ads selected as first place winners will appear in the Newspapers in Education supplement of the Piscataquis Observer on April 17, 2019. In addition, winning ads are used on the Grange’s promotional material throughout the year.

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

Community to Honor Lt Kane

Save the date! Spread the word! Come to help us celebrate this honor and thank Lt. Kane for everything he does for our communities!

Lt Kane Honored — Again!

Valley Grange again had the pleasure of surprising Lt James Kane of the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department–this time during his DARE class with Mrs. Cleaves fifth graders at Piscataquis Community Elementary School. As he was finishing up the lesson, there was a knock on the door. The class announced in unison, “Come in!” The door opened and in marched Mr. Gregory’s fifth-graders carrying a banner reading “Congratulations, Lt. Kane!” He looked a bit bewildered as they presented him with hand-made cards of congratulations. They were followed by PCES Principal Anita Wright, PSCSS Principal John Keane, SAD 4 Superintendent Kellie McFayden and several members of the media.


Kane, ever humble, joked that he was “going to start avoiding Mr. Boomsma.”

Walter Boomsma, program director for Valley Grange, explained that last year Lt Kane was honored as Valley Grange’s Community Citizen of the Year and the Maine State Grange Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. “We just recently learned that he’s also been selected the Grange Northeast Region Law Enforcement Officer of the year, which is pretty cool because it includes all of New England and New York.”

Boomsma noted that we “haven’t received the official plaque yet but we do have a couple of things for you,” presenting Kane with a a block of cheese labelled “big cheese” and a banana labeled “top banana.” “We think you’re a pretty big cheese and you’re our top banana.”

“I want to thank you very much, I do not do it for any other reason than I enjoy being with the kids,” Kane said. He also thanked the teachers and administrators he has worked with.

Kane told the students the cards will go up on the wall in his office.

Boomsma further noted that the Grange is all about building strong rural communities and “people like Lt. Kane are among the greatest resources we have. I have seen his work. It’s boots on the ground and goes far beyond the job he has. One reason we decided to announce the award here today is I know what the kids mean to him and I know what he means to the kids.

Valley Grange will be announcing a public event which will give the community an opportunity to thank Lt. Kane. “It’s become quite normal for folks to walk up to veterans and thank them for their service,” Boomsma noted. “That’s as it should be but maybe we should also normalize thanking law enforcement officers who literally put their lives on the line every day.”

With this award, Kane also becomes eligible for the Grange National Honor which will be announced in the fall.

Later that morning, Kane met with first and second graders to talk about how kids can help and support policemen. (Photo by Khloe Kimball)