Grange hands out dictionaries to third graders

The Ravena Grange continued its six-year tradition of handing out dictionaries to Pieter B. Coeymans (PBC) School third graders as part of the National Grange Dictionary Project.

Over the years the Grange, America’s oldest rural and agriculture organization, with roughly 300,000 volunteers, has handed out more than 100,000 dictionaries.

PBC student and Junior Granger Andrew Pierce, Junior Grange Leader Suzanne Celella, Assistant Leader Ismay Payne, Granger Stephen Cole and Pearl Collins distributed the Webster’s Dictionary for children.

Carefully pasted inside the front leaf of each special encyclopedic edition was a label reading, "Compliments of the Ravena Junior Grange 663".

"This is a treasure," Cole said about the dictionary. "Children should use it every day."

Throughout the year, the Grange fundraises for the event through dinners and other activities.

"It’s wonderful," one teacher said. "Many children don’t have one."

Before handing out the dictionaries, Cole and Payne gave a brief description of the junior Grangers.

The kids meet on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 7 p.m. and participate in crafts, photography, drawing, writing and mystery trips.

They also prepare and staff a booth at the Altamont Fair, earn badges and compete in Grange contests.

Pierce, a 5th grader at PBC, said he has won several prizes and rosettes, including one for a recycled plastic snowman and another for a bottlecap butterfly.

"It’s really fun to build stuff you didn’t know how to do," he said.

Pierce also helps take care of animals at his aunt’s house, including feeding chickens, taking care of horses, cleaning out stalls and other tasks.

Dues for joining the junior Grange are only $1 a year, and the group is open to kids from age 5 through 15.

Parents must be willing to transport children to and from meetings. For more information about the Ravena Grange # 1457 call (518) 756-9885 or (518) 756-6551.