Valley Grange Collects!

At our September Meeting, we created some piles–PB&J for the Bangor Savings Bank Drive, Lap Afghans for the Veterans’ Operation Gratitude Program, and raffle tickets! We also added 350 knitted hats from Blistered Finger Knitter Roberta in New Jersey. Do knitting needles ever wear out?

An order of dictionaries for our annual “Words for Thirds Dictionary Day Project will be placed soon. Since starting the program in 2004, we’ve provided nearly 3,000 dictionaries to students throughout the area. If COVID cooperates, we hope to do more “in-person” presentations this year.

Raffle tickets are on sale and available from any member, or call Janice Boomsma at 343-1496. We’ll be drawing the winners at our November meeting and look forward to handing out $250 in prizes! Community support is needed and appreciated!

Our schedule for the rest of the year:

  • Friday, October 21, 2022, we’ll have a potluck supper at 6 pm and meeting at 7 pm. This is usually the meeting at which we prepare for dictionary days by labeling the books, assembling the hats and mittens from our Blistered Finger Knitters for distribution, and resisting our second annual “Sock it to Us” efforts. The program was so successful last year we may be “good to go” this year! Jim and Mary are Grange Bees* for this meeting.
  • Friday, November 18, 2022, will include the usual potluck supper at 6 pm and program at 7 pm and include drawing our raffle winners. Walter and Janice are Grange Bees for this meeting.
  • Friday, December 2, 2022, is our Fellowship Breakfast for Supper–you can come in your jammies! This is always a fun night… we start at 6 pm by enjoying some breakfast specialties such as homemade muffins, breakfast casseroles, “Walter’s French Toast,” and assorted treats and surprises. It’s all about food, fellowship, and family… you won’t want to miss it!

Get those dates on your calendar and plan to join us for any one or all of these gatherings! Anyone can join us–you do not have to be a member. We do plan to keep our hall open through the winter and appreciate all who help and support us in some way.

Unfortunately, another Grange in our area is closing–St. Albans now joins Garland Grange as “closed.” Valley Grange would certainly welcome members from these two Granges with open arms. If you were a member of St. Albans or Garland Grange and would like to join us, contact secretary Mary Annis (564-0820) and she’ll make it happen!


*Grange Bees are the unofficial hosts for a meeting who make sure the heat’s on, the hall is ready, and we have everything we need. If you’d like a turn, we’ll not only show you how, we have a checklist!

Valley Grange Delivers!

And we had company! Reporters from WABI TV 5 and WVII Fox Bangor asked if they could “tag along” when we delivered dictionaries to Brownville Elementary School and we were happy to have the company!

Valley Grange Master/President Jim Annis and Program Director Walter Boomsma had the back of his car filled with “words”–cases of dictionaries to deliver to several area schools. Annis admitted, “Sometimes we’re not sure who gets more excited, us or the kids.”

Boomsma noted that he misses the contact with the kids. “In the past we’ve had several schools make field trips to the Grange Hall and we’ve visited classrooms to hand out the dictionaries personally while explaining a little about the Grange and trying to get the kids really excited about having their own dictionary. Since safety is a priority as a result of COVID, we’ve had to get a little creative.”

The Guilford Grange produced a short video and some resources for teachers who are now doing the actual presentations. But the curious kids in Brownville were watching out the window at, what for Brownville was a “media extravaganza.” It wasn’t long before a window was opened and some chatting took place “long distance.”

Boomsma noted that the day’s delivery included a bag of knitted hats and mittens, compliments of Valley Grange’s Blistered Finger Knitters. “We have one woman in New Jersey who knits for us throughout the year and brings her work when she visits in the summer.”

A relatively new program started by the Grange asks people to “Sock It to Me.” Boomsma warned Principal Carol Smith “We’ll be back in a couple of weeks with a bag of socks. We want add feet to our efforts to keep our kids warm this winter, so we’re asking people to help us out with donations of socks we can provide to area schools.”

The stockings were piled at the Grange Hall with care
In hopes children’s feet would be saved from cold air!

If you’re interested in a Dictionary Project in your area or at your school, contact Mr. Boomsma or visit the Dictionary Project Website. To learn more about the Valley Grange Program, visit the Valley Grange Website.

Somebody Socked It to Us!

Why is FedEx bringing a package? We aren’t expecting anything… Once it arrived, we discovered we have another anonymous Grange Angel. (We have our suspicions!) As the photo shows, inside the box from Target were a number of packs of socks—a generous and nice start to our “Sock It to Me” Collection.

If our math is correct, we have an 80 pair start! We haven’t set a goal but are now starting to wonder how many pairs we might end up with.

We plan to continue collecting through December. There’s a plastic tote on the porch of the Grange Hall where you can “sock it to us.” Better yet bring them to our Breakfast for Supper on December 3, 2021. (Don’t forget to RSVP.) If you want to “drop ship, ship to Walter Boomsma, Valley Grange, 17 River Road, Abbot ME 04406.

We need kids’ sizes and adults’ sizes. Boys, girls, unisex… warm socks are best, obviously but we’re not going to be choosey. We’ll be distributing the socks collected to school nurses where there is a need, either in late December or early January. Thanks for helping us help the kids!

The stockings were piled at the Grange Hall with care
In hopes children’s feet would be saved from cold air!

Sock It to Me! Sock It to Me!

At the November Valley Grange Meeting–at every meeting–we always discuss emerging and existing needs in our communities. One brought to our attention was that several schools in our area have expressed a need for socks! There are too many kids coming to school “sockless” and it’s not a fashion statement. So we’re starting a “sock drive” with the socks collected being distributed to school nurses where there is a need.

We need kids’ sizes and adults’ sizes. Boys, girls, unisex… warm socks are best, obviously but we’re not going to be choosey.

Grange members voted unanimously to make our Breakfast for Supper Program a key sock collection point and date. “We usually collect food cupboard donations at this meeting,” Community Service Chair Mary Annis noted,” so this year we’re adding socks. We’ll have a tote on the front porch of the Grange Hall. For those who can’t come to breakfast, swing by the Grange Hall and sock it to us by leaving some socks in the tote.”

“Since this is sorta last minute,” Program Director Walter Boomsma noted, “We’ll probably continue to collect throughout the month of December. Any and all help will be appreciated! We may try to set up some collection points around the area… if a business or organization is interested in helping with that, call me at 207 343-1842.”

The stockings were piled at the Grange Hall with care
In hopes children's feet would be saved from cold air!
Photo by Pixabay

Dictionary Day 2021 Has Arrived!

A team of Valley Granger members led by Walter Boomsma is delivering over 200 dictionaries to local area schools during the next two weeks. “We have a lot to celebrate,” he noted, “in spite of COVID restrictions, third graders in the area will have a Dictionary Day that focuses on tools, words, and the importance of learning.”

The Grange began its “Words for Thirds” Program in 2004 by giving a dictionary to every third-grader at the then Guilford Primary School. Over the years, the program has expanded to include Piscataquis Community, SeDoMoCha, Brownville, Harmony, and Ridgeview Elementary Schools. Boomsma estimates the Grange has distributed nearly 3,000 dictionaries since. “But it’s really not about the numbers. One kid, one dictionary. The stories are many but each one is personal. A dictionary can make a big difference in a child’s life.”

Since in-person visits are not possible due to safety concerns, the Grange has produced a short video for teachers to use while passing out the dictionaries. In the past, some schools have made field trips to the Grange Hall and Grangers have visited schools to make the gift personal and emphasize the importance of people helping each other. Jim Annis, president of the local Grange, rarely misses a presentation. “I love how excited the kids get. These dictionaries are truly empowering and the program has become a rite of passage. It takes some creativity, but we’re glad we can continue the tradition.”

Boomsma noted that these sorts of links and cooperation within the community are exactly what the Grange hopes to facilitate.  “We’re all about Community Service,” he said. “We’re also looking for people who share that passion whether it’s working with the schools and children or seniors or other community organizations.” He cites the Grange’s Blistered Finger Knitters as an example. “As a result of their efforts, we’ll be distributing some knitted hats and mittens along with the dictionaries. These are usually given to the school nurse for kids who need a little help staying warm.”

Our goal as a Grange is to support building strong communities. We offer a number of opportunities for folks to join us. Financial support is always needed and welcomed. Contributions can be sent to Valley Grange Secretary and Community Service Director at 28 Orchard Road, Dover Foxcroft ME 04426. We also need hands! In addition to mittens and hats for kids, we support the CHCS Hospice Program for veterans by providing lap quilts and afghans. There are always little jobs to be done around the hall. We are updating our project and program list but can say with confidence, we have a way that you can help based on your interest and time.

Come to a meeting or contact a Granger! Share our American values and help feed our hometown roots!

Bookworm Schedule March 2020

Bookworm

Don’t forget your Bikes for Books entry when you finish a book!

Tuesday,  March 3— Mrs Bosworth will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m. Don’t forget to vote today!

Thursday, March 5 — Mrs. Orton will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, March 10 — Ms. Orton will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, March 12 — Mrs. Gilbert will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, March 17 — Mrs. Kimball will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, March 19 — Mrs. Bosworth will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Friday, March  20 — Valley Grange Potluck Supper at 6 PM and meeting at 7 PM. We will be magnet making and judging Newspapers in Education Ads!

Tuesday, March 24 — Mrs. Kimball will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m. (Tentative date for announcing Newspapers in Education Winners.)

Thursday, March 26 — Mrs. Gilbert will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Saturday, March 28 — Blanketeers needed at Valley Grange, 9:00 am until noon.

Tuesday, March 31 — Mr. Boomsma will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Bookworm Schedule February 2020

Bookworm

Bookworms make great Valentines!

Tuesday,  February 4— Mr. Boomsma will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, February 6 — Mrs. Kimball will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, February 11 — Ms. Erwin will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, February 13 — Mr. Boomsma will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Friday, February 14 — Happy Valentine’s Day!

Monday, February 17 — School Vacation Week! Have fun! Read!

Friday, February  21 — Valley Grange Potluck Supper at 6 PM and meeting at 7 PM

Tuesday, February 25 — Mrs. Orton will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, February 27 — Ms. Erwin will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Friday, February 28 — Fourth Graders at PCES draw Valley Grange Ads for Newspapers in Education during Art Class.

Bookworm Schedule January 2020

Let’s start the new year with reading!
Bookworm

Thursday, January 2 —  Mrs. Orton will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday,  January 7— Mr. Boomsma will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, January 9 — Mr. Boomsma will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

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

Thursday, January 16 — Mrs. Gilbert will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Friday, January 17 — Valley Grange Meeting! Potluck Supper at 6 pm, meeting at 7 pm.

Tuesday, January 21 — Mr. Boomsma will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, January 23 — Ms. Erwin will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, January 28 — Ms. Erwin will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, January 30 — Mrs. Gilbert will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Bookworm Schedule for December 2019

Best wishes for this holiday season!
Bookworm

Monday, December 2 — Hall cleanup starting at 10:30 am… help is appreciated! Plan on an hour or so.

Tuesday,  December 3 — Mrs. Bosworth will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, December 5 —  Mrs. Gilbert will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Friday, December 6 Breakfast for Supper at Valley Grange… come in your jammies if you’d like! Supper at 6 pm, brief meeting and holiday program at 7 pm. If you’d like to help with the food, call Mrs. Annis (564-0820) or Mrs. Boomsma (876-4131)!

Monday, December 9PCMS Winter Concert starts at 5:30 pm, featuring grades five and six, and the Middle School Band and Chorus. Held in the elementary school gym!

Tuesday,  December 10 — Mrs. Kimball will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, December 10 is Dictionary Day at Harmony Elementary School. Contact Mr. Boomsma for more information.

Tuesday, December 10PCSS Winter Concert starts at 6:30 p.m. in the high school gym!

Wednesday, December 11PECS Winter Concert starts at 5:30 p,m, featuring grades kindergarten through four. Held in the high school gym!

Thursday, December 12 — Mr. Boomsma will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, December 17 — Mrs. Lander will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, December 19 — Mrs. Orton will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Friday, December 20 — Early dismissal for the Holidays! See you all next year!

Bookworm Schedule for October-November 2019

Celebrate fall with a book… reading can take you anywhere! We also have lots of  exciting things happening at Valley Grange!
Bookworm

Tuesday, October 22 –Third Grade Field Trip to Valley Grange for Dictionary Day!

Thursday, October 24 — Mr. Boomsma will be at school  for the bookworm kickoff assembly during morning meeting and for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, October 29 — Mrs. Gilbert will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, October 31 — Mrs. Bosworth will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday,  November 5 — Mrs. Kimball will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, November 7 —  Mrs. Gilbert will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Friday, November 8 SAD 4 Veteran’s Day Celebration at 8:45 am in the PCSS Gym–everyone is invited!

Tuesday,  November 12 — Mrs. Kimball will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

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

Friday, November 15Valley Grange Hosts the Spirit of America Awards! Join us at the Grange Hall at 7 PM!

Tuesday, November 19 — Mr. Boomsma will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, November 21 — Mrs. Bosworth will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, November 26 — Mrs. Lander will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, November 28 — Happy Thanksgiving!