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!

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The Bookworms Are Coming!

Bookworm
Valley Grange Bookworms are getting ready to visit P.C.E.S. We’ll be kicking off this year’s program with a brief assembly in the PCES Cafeteria on Monday, October 23 at 2:15 p.m. Third graders will meet old friends and second graders will learn what bookworming is all about!

Bookworm Recruiting, Second Grade Style

by Mr. Boomsma

It’s no secret that I firmly believe that kids are great problem solvers!

I wish I were a bookwormAs many of you know, we’ve been struggling a bit to increase our bank of bookworms this year. Here’s a story that demonstrates maybe we should have just asked the kids for some help!

This past Tuesday, Mike Lange from the Observer shadowed me as I bookwormed so he could write a story about our program… we picked up our first kid and went to the couch where he listened for a while and took lots of photos. Since it was business as usual as far as the amount of time per kid, Mr. Lange decided to wander back to Mrs. Stearns’ room and poke around a bit—talk to some of the kids, maybe take another photo or two.

When “B” and I returned to the classroom I saw Mr. Lange sitting on a small chair at a desk next to a young lady. They were engrossed in a book about dinosaurs. Mr. Lange looked up and offered an explanation. “She told me it was her turn next and made me sit down and listen to her!” I chuckled at the sales ability of “A” and waited for them to finish. Mr. Lange asked her what she’d learned from the story… and after hearing her answer looked at me and said, “You know… I can do this! You just listen, help, and then ask some questions, right?”

Oh yeah, he’s hooked.  So give a wiggly welcome to our newest Bookworm, Mr. Lange from Saint Albans and the Piscataquis Observer! And a big thanks to “A” from Mrs. Stearns Second Grade for her recruiting efforts!

Mr. Boomsma is having trouble keeping up with all of this, but hopes to have the classroom posters with photos done soon… Bookworms, if you owe me a photo, please send it ASAP. Mrs. Annis has already sent out the schedule request for November—let’s start filling those slots! I’d like to have everyone’s badge at school and the classroom posters in place before we start November!