River Festival Means Balloons and Baked Stuff!

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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

Lt Jamie Kane, 2018 Citizen of the Year

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Jim Annis, Valley Grange Master; Lt Jamie Kane, Community Citizen; Walter Boomsma, Valley Grange Program Director. Photo Courtesy of Beth Weymouth.

Congratulations to Lt James Kane of the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office for his well-deserved receipt of the Valley Grange 2018 Community Citizen of the Year Award! And, thanks to the help of Tim Richardson and Chandra Kane, a large group of friends and family managed to totally surprise him. (He thought he was going fishing!)

In presenting the award, Valley Grange Master James Annis noted it’s a “high honor” and one that isn’t taken lightly. “Valley Grange values community and appreciates those who go ‘above and beyond’ to serve us.”

Additional testimonials and stories mentioned Lt. Kane’s role as a DARE officer at two schools and his get things done attitude when a need arises. When told a child being sponsored to attend a day camp didn’t have the proper clothing, shoes, and sleeping bag, “What do we do now?” Lt Kane said, without hesitation, “Let’s go shopping.” He even received a group hug from the girls’ baseball team he coaches at PCHS. PCHS Principal John Keane said, “I have been principal at six different schools in four districts and the best law enforcement official I have ever met.”

Describing the value of community and community service, Valley Grange Program Director challenged those present not to compare themselves to Lt Kane, “Don’t feel inadequate. Doing little things can add up. Let’s find more Lt Kanes and let’s each be a little more like him.”

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Bookworm Schedule for May 2018

Tuesday, May 1 — Mr. Boomsma will be at school to read starting at 10:10 a.m.

Thursday, May 3 — Mr. Boomsma will be at school to read starting at 10:10 a.m.

Tuesday, May 8 — Ms. Erwin will be at school to read starting at 10:10 a.m.

Thursday, May 10  — Mrs. Kimball will be at school to read starting at 10:10 a.m. “Canstruction” and Reveal at 5:30 p.m.

Friday, May 11 — Bikes for Books Assembly at 8:00 a.m.

Tuesday, May 15 — Mrs. Orton will be at school to read starting at 10:10 a.m.

Wednesday, May 16Spring Art Show/Book Fair (4:00 p.m.) and Spring Concert (6:00 p.m.)

Thursday, May 17 — Mr. Boomsma will be at school to read starting at 10:10 a.m.

Friday, May 18Community Night at Valley Grange! Join us for a potluck supper at 6:00 p.m. and program at 7:00 p.m. — Find out who is Community Citizen of the Year!

Tuesday, May 22 — Mrs. Kimball will be at school to read starting at 10:10 a.m.

Thursday, May 24 — Mrs. Orton will be at school to read starting at 10:10 a.m.

Friday, May 25 — No School. Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Tuesday, May 29 — Mrs. Lander will be at school to read starting at 10:10 a.m

Thursday, May 31 — Mrs. Orton will be at school to read starting at 10:10 a.m.

 

Remember… every Tuesday at 5:30 pm, kids and parents can join Miss Dunton in the PCES Cafeteria for the first “Tuesdays Together” Program — an after-school program featuring cutting edge design thinking and problem-solving.

 

Where Does Chocolate Milk Come From?

GrowME logoAt least one second-grader from Guilford now knows it does NOT come from brown cows!

We completed activities at SeDoMoCha Elementary (353 students), Milo Elementary (121), Greenville Elementary (77 students), and Piscataquis Community Elementary (79 students) for a total of 630 students and 40 classes in four districts.

As impressive as the numbers are, we also should take pride in the impact we have on kids and teachers. Mrs. Kimball’s letter speaks to that… and our experience confirms it. For example, in several butter-making classes, we had “teachable moments” that included some math. In one case, the teacher and I “co-taught” a couple of math lessons… reinforcing my belief that relevance and curriculum fit is what makes this program work. In one kindergarten class, a young “farmer” shared that he has “6,000 horses” which he “rides and feeds every day.” (I whispered to the teacher, “I’ll bet you’ve told him a billion times not to exaggerate.”) I think he represents enough excitement for agriculture, farming, and the GrowME program that we may forgive him for his distortion.

A surprise visit from Channel Five and Channel Seven kept Mrs. Bosworth and I hopping during our last day of activities in Guilford. While Mrs. B tried to hide, she did end up in the story… and you’ll have to laugh at some of the faces the kids made while tasting apples:

Link to WABI TV5 Story:

http://www.wabi.tv/video/?vid=478695593

Link to Fox22/7 Story:

https://www.foxbangor.com/news/item/24685-growme-project-teaches-elementary-kids-farming-skills

A sincere thanks to those who contributed time, materials and support to this program. There’s always lots of growing in GrowME!


SeDo Thank You

 

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!

Blanketeer Support

Here are a couple of links that will help those who want to support the Blanketeers for Project Linus:

FA Project Linus Facebook Page

FA Project Linus GoFundME Page

Help comes in many different shapes and sizes.

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Blanketeers Help Kids Feel Safe

A diverse group of volunteers were at Valley Grange in Guilford Saturday to help make kids feel safe, according to this report by WABI – TV 5.

”Blanketeers” Make Homemade Blankets

Spirit of America Tributes at Valley Grange

volunteer-652383_1280Guilford–Piscataquis County winners of the 2017 Spirit of America Foundation Tribute for outstanding community service will be honored at a ceremony on Friday, November 17, 2017 starting at 7:00 PM in the Valley Grange Hall 172 Guilford Center Road, Guilford.

Spirit of America Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity established in Augusta, ME to encourage volunteerism. Since the first Spirit of America Foundation award was presented to Alma Jones by Augusta’s Mayor in 1991, over 500 Spirit of America ceremonies have taken place. Director Bruce Flaherty noted this presentation is based in Piscataquis County “because there are so many awards being given.”

Those to be honored (and receive a certificate signed by their Maine Legislators) at the countywide ceremony include: the Abbott Historical Society, David Kinney from Atkinson, Beaver Cove School Committee, Bowerbank Fire Department, Brownville-Brownville Junction Historical Society, Charlotte White Center, Partnership Food Pantry in Greenville, Herring Family from Guilford, Medford Planning Board, Milo’s Summer Meals Program, Monson Summerfest, Parkman Grange, Linda Hall & Wilson Nuite from Sangerville, Sebec Village Associates, Patricia Mace from Shirley, Wellington Fire Department, and Willimantic Civic Association.

The event is open to the public. “We hope friends and family of these recipients will come and help us salute these models of the volunteer spirit of America,” Flaherty suggested, adding that certificates from the Maine Legislature will be included. “This will be a fun, uplifting evening with no long speeches,” he promised.”

Valley Grange Program Director Walter Boomsma is excited the Grange has been given the honor of hosting the awards. “All Granges are about community and Valley Grange is certainly not an exception. We enjoy making our hall available to organizations dedicated to building strong individuals and communities. It is a special treat to host individuals and organizations doing just that!”

Additional information about the Foundation is available at http://spiroaf.com and the event at http://valleygrange.com.

Come See Us at River Festival!

Books and Balloons 2017