Spirit of America!

SOA Winners

It was “standing room only” as Valley Grange hosted the Piscataquis County Spirit of America Awards Ceremony with nearly 100 in attendance. Seventeen individuals and groups were honored for their volunteerism and community contributions. (The complete list is available on the Valley Grange Website.) The program was emceed by Walter Boomsma, program director for Valley Grange with awards presented by Senator Paul Davis and Representatives Paul Stearns and Norm Higgins.

Advertisements

Valley Grange Hosts Spirit of America Awards

Maine member releases easy-to-read book ‘Exploring Traditions’ of the Grange

Reprinted from the September 2018 issue of The Patrons Chain–The Official Newsletter of the National Grange


Walter Boomsma, Program Director of Valley Grange and Maine State Grange Communications Director has authored the book, “Exploring Traditions–Celebrating the Grange Way of Life.”

While this is not his first book, Boomsma believes it may be one of his most important.

“The primary goal in writing it was to encourage exploration,” Boomsma said. “The Grange is a 150-year-old organization with a strong agricultural focus and many are questioning its relevance to today’s society. I wanted to encourage people to develop a deeper understanding of what the Grange is all about–including our members. The Grange is very much about a way of life and, while farming has changed, people have not.”

Boomsma said he also believes people who are not familiar with the Grange will appreciate exploring the value of tradition in general since “tradition and ritual create stability and a sense of community, especially when we understand the basis for them.”

Betty Van Dyke accepts the “very first copy” of Exploring Traditions from Walter Boomsma, the author.

National Grange Master Betsy Huber provided a foreward to the book, in which she wrote, “These essays by Walter Boomsma unpack the teachings of the Grange and relate them to today’s world
and our everyday lives. He has a gift for taking the lessons from the farm and showing their relevance today, even for those whose only interaction with agriculture happens through their food and clothing choices. He understands the meaning the Grange Founders intended and interprets the sometimes archaic language to reveal the principles they wanted to teach to farm families who often had no other opportunity for education.“

Boomsma dedicated the book to a woman he affectionately calls a “Granger Extraordinaire,” Betty Van Dyke of Guilford. During a presentation of the first copy of the book, Boomsma said Van
Dyke explained the great influence she had during his “formative years” as a Grange member.

“I came to appreciate both her knowledge of the Grange’s teachings and her commitment to what I later came to understand as ‘the Grange Way of Life.’”

At the height of her Grange career, Van Dyke held a number of local and state positions, including serving as the Maine State Community Service Director. At 94, Van Dyke still keeps track of what’s going on at Valley Grange and is a strong supporter.

Boomsma will sign copies of the book at the 152nd Annual Convention where it will be available for sale. It is also available through the Grange Supply Store. Contact Loretta Washington at sales@nationalgrange.org or by phone at (202) 628-3507 ext. 109.

Brammer Benefit Bean Supper at Garland Grange

Please note this event is taking place at Garland Grange… Jackie was a hard-working member of Garland Grange and Piscataquis Pomona. Valley Grange is supporting and encouraging others to honor Jackie’s service to her communities and to offer some help to her family at this difficult time.

Brammer Benefit PostcardThose who cannot attend may send a donation to

Garland Grange
Bill Bemis
102 Merrill Road
Corrina ME 04928

If you’d like to help by working at the supper or donating food/supplies, call Bill at 924-4123. Thanks!

Garland Grange Facebook Page

Thank you, MHFC!

As part of their Community Care Program, Maine Highlands Federal Credit Union recently presented a donation to Valley Grange. Employees contributed based on their “dress down” Fridays with the proceeds being distributed to local community organizations. Walter Boomsma, Program Director for Valley Grange noted, “Through no fault of our own, we recently lost part of the funding of our Words for Thirds Dictionary Program, so this is perfect timing and will help us to continue to give a dictionary to every third grader in four area districts. Thank you!”

l-r: Sonya Smith, MHFC; Walter Boomsma, Valley Grange Program Director; Jim Annis, Valley Grange Master

River Festival Means Balloons and Baked Stuff!

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

IMG_0645_resized

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.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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