Dictionaries and Words Are Coming!

We’re scheduling Dictionary Days… so far we have

  • P.C.E.S. on Thursday, November 17, 2022
  • SeDoMoCha on Wednesday, November 30, 2022
  • Ridgeview Elementary on Monday, November 21, 2022 (drop off only)
  • Brownville Elementary on Friday, November 18, 2022
  • Harmony Elementary on Friday, December 2, 2022

As a reminder, these days are not public events. If you are interested in attending, please contact Walter Boomsma by email or at 207 343-1842.

Kids who receive dictionaries and their families are invited to our Breakfast for Supper on Friday, December 2, 2022. You can come in your jammies!

Dictionaries Coming to Schools Soon!

Dictionary Day Planning Underway

Yes, it’s that time of year! Valley Grange will again be conducting our “Words for Thirds” Dictionary Project. At this point, we are gathering approximate census/counts of third graders so we can order the dictionaries. The purchase of those dictionaries was approved at our September meeting.

We’ll probably be planning the actual dictionary day distributions in early to mid-November. We hope we can offer the same options as we did before COVID:

  1. A field trip to the Grange Hall
  2. A personal visit to the school/classrooms
  3. A “drop off” with a support video for teacher use.

Obviously, that choice will be made by each district. We distribute to Piscataquis Community Elementary School (Guilford), Brownville Elementary School (Brownville), Ridgeview Community School (Dexter), SeDoMoCha Elementary School (Dover Foxcroft), and Harmony Elementary School (Harmony). Home-schooled students are of course included. Parents should contact their school or the Grange.

We’re proud of our program and know the kids look forward to it! We’ve been distributing dictionaries since 2004 and are approaching the 3,000 mark! Some of our students report using their dictionaries in high school. These dictionaries empower the kids and encourage them to “look it up!”

Stay tuned! There’s more to come!

Check Us Out on WABI-TV5!

Valley Grange Socks It to ’em!

“We stopped counting,” Community Service Chair Mary Annis said. “Thanks to members and friends, we were able to fill five bags with socks for our local kids. We used almost half of the dining hall to spread things out to sort!

Those bags are now being delivered to local schools (Piscataquis Community, SeDoMoCha, Brownville, Ridgeview, and Harmony Elementary) for distribution to kids who need them during what is undoubtedly some of the most bitterly cold weather. Windchill factors are taking local temperatures to as much as forty below zero. “Our volunteer deliverers are bundling up and wearing their own warm socks,” commented Walter Boomsma, Program Director, who is being assisted by Janice Boomsma and Pat Engstrom.

“We could call this ‘Operation Warm Toes,'” quipped Boomsma. “From the reception we’re getting while delivering, it’s safe to assume that this cannot be limited to a one-time effort. We’ve still got plenty of winter weather left and lots of little toes, so we’ll be asking for community support again.”

There are several ways to donate. Online shoppers can have an order drop-shipped to Walter Boomsma, 17 River Road, Abbot ME 04406. If you know a member of Valley Grange, contact them and arrange for a drop-off or pick-up. Valley Grange will be meeting on Friday, January 21, 2022–join us for potluck supper at 6 pm and “sock it to us.” There’s also a collection tote on the porch of the Grange Hall located at 172 Guilford Center Road in Guilford. “Just be careful,” Boomsma warns. “this time of year the steps aren’t always cleared off between meetings and events.”

Kids’ sizes and adults’ sizes are needed. Boys, girls, unisex… warm socks are best, obviously. The socks collected will be distributed to school nurses where there is a need. Thanks for helping us help the kids!

If your business or organization wants to serve as a collection point, contact Walter Boomsma at 207 343-1842 or Mary Annis at 207 564-0820. “We’d like to make our next delivery soon, probably early in February,” Annis said. We need to act fast! Thanks for helping us help the kids!”

Valley Grange Gram–keeping things busy!

Breakfast for supper was yummy! Since this was a combined meeting with Piscataquis Pomona, we didn’t do much business, but we learned a great deal from Pomona Lecturer Dave Pearson’s program. I became so entranced I failed to take good notes, but I do recall that his questionable research was based in part on cave paintings that tell us the first socks were invented in 1851 BC by a Mr. Zok (rhymes with “sock”), who wore the pelts of saber tooth rabbits (fur side out) on his feet…

One might say that Dave “socked it to us” in an enjoyable and informative way.

Who is checking out some of the socks we’ve received?

But it all fits. We sorted through an estimated three hundred pairs of socks we’ve received so far, starting bags for each of the five schools we’ll be supplying. We continue to collect! If you’d like to sock it to us:

  1. Drop them off at the Grange Hall—there’s a tote on the front porch that gets emptied regularly.
  2. Order online and have them shipped to Walter Boomsma @ 17 River Road, Abbot ME 04406
  3. Contact Walter or Community Service Chair Mary to arrange a meet-up.

Our goal is to make a delivery to the schools around December 16th, but we’ll continue to collect in anticipation of further deliveries in January or February. We’re also rebuilding our hat and mitten inventory, so keep those kneedles knitting!

We could, of course, come full circle by noting that in addition to sorting socks, our yarn, hats, and mittens bins were sorted… it sorta fits with the yarn that Dave spun regarding socks.

We’ve sorta learned that Valley Grange placed fourth in the Maine State Grange Community Service Contest. (It’s a long story.) Thanks to Mary Annis for her work, especially in putting together our entry notebook. We “earned” $50!

FYI, (bookworms, especially) PCES is planning to hold two Holiday Concerts—outside! The first will feature K-3 on Wednesday, December 8th at 5:30 pm. Park at the high school and walk up to the area in front of the school. Dress warm! The second concert will feature grades 4 -6 on Thursday, December 14th, also at 5:30 pm. Follow the same procedure! Support our kids!

Pat and Janice had a successful Kris Kringle Kraft Fair… we appreciate their time and efforts, and willingness to share the proceeds with Valley Grange! Pat has also succeeded in getting a donation of fleece to be used in our next “Blanketeering” day for Project Linus. Thanks also to Linda Kain of Abbot for her recent donation of blankets and “lovies” for the Linus Project.

CWA co-chairs Judy and Pat conducted a drawing and increased the CWA fund to (ka-ching!) $22.00. A special thanks to Pat for contributing the two quarters to make it an even amount!

Thanks also to McKusick Petroleum… our downstairs thermostat was replaced at no charge and the furnace is working without complication. If you are a “Grange Bee” during the winter, please make certain you shut things down correctly and add some antifreeze. Instructions with photos are on the side of the furnace.

Dues are due! You should have received a bill from Mary… did you get a check to her?! Unpaid dues, by Grange Rule, result in us issuing a “demit,” which effectively changes your status to inactive. In addition to following the rules, we cannot afford to carry you as an unpaid member. Thanks for taking care of this!

It’s also time to update your contact information… do we have your correct address, phone number(s), email address(es)? If you’re not sure, you can reply to this email with the information or contact Mary Annis.

You certainly don’t want to miss anything that’s going on in, near, around Valley Grange!

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.

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

Kids Write…

SeDo Dictionary DayOne of the best parts for us is reading the thank you notes we get from the kids after a Dictionary Day. They are often very personal and sometimes even we are surprised at what the kids remember from the day! Here are a few of the notes we’ve received from SeDoMoCha third graders:

Dear Guilford Grangers,

Thank you for the dictionary and the feild trip. Hope we see you next year. We saw the news! It was funny when Miss Grant put on the soldier uniform. It was super fun to be there there. Thank you all for the fun day. We aprecheate it. Thanks Mr. Boomsma by the way we weere trying to keep you happy. THANK YOU!


Dear Grangers,

Thank you for the dictionary. It was funny when Mis. Grant dress up as a soldier. It was exiding to be on the news can we do this again some time. The gardening tools are cool. I wish they where a round still. The tools woud be help full. I saw Mr. Boomsma on the news. It was not boring at all. I hope you enjoyed this letter. Have fun with the ether classis.



Dear Grangers,

Thank you for the dictionary! Those were rely nice gardening tools! I alse learnd that if you look at the cameras you are not going to be on the news! That was awesome that we got to see the mail boxs. I realy like the dictionary. My brother still has his dictionary in fifth grade.


Dear Grangers,

Thank you for the dictionary. I can’t believe that we learned the longest word in the English Language! I bet the Civil War was long and not so great time. Are you doing this next year? I thought the gardening tools were cool. I hope you do this next year. My dictionary is still in good shape. Again Thank you! I really like the Grange. I hope this makes you happy there will be a drawing on the back.


Dear Valley Grange,

Thank you for the wonderful dictionaries. What I learned about is Corporal Benett and the Civil War. The tools you showed us, spud, the howl the shepard’s crook and the prune. Last but not least what I’m going to use my dictionary for to help me spell, help me find the definitions, help me not use the same words over and over and last but not least learn to do sign language.



Dear Valley Grange,

Thank you for my free dictionary! I use my dictionary to find words and definitions. When I was there it was so fun. When we learned about the spud, owl, pruning hook and shepherds hook. I was so happy when I got home I talked all about it it my mom and sister. It was so fun to be on the news.

Dictionary Day!

Check out this story by WABI-TV 5… what a great time we all had!

Third Graders get the gift of words in Guilford

SeDo Dictionary Day