Guilford–`You can look it up!` becomes the answer to many of the questions third graders have when they have their own dictionaries. Students from Piscataquis Elementary School in Guilford and SeDoMoCha in Dover Foxcroft can do just that after recently traveling to the Valley Grange Hall in Guilford for some lessons in history and to receive their own dictionary. For the past seven years Valley Grange members have been providing dictionaries to third graders in the area. The local program is part of a nation-wide effort driven by the Dictionary Project—a non-profit organization based in South Carolina with a goal of assisting all students in completing the school year as good writers, active readers and creative thinkers by providing students with their own personal dictionary
Noting that Valley Grange has expanded the program to now include three districts, Valley Grange Master Jim Annis said, `This has been a fantastic program for us as an organization. It`s got us involved with the children and the schools where we can truly feel we are making a difference and have a lot of fun doing it!`
Program Director Walter Boomsma agrees and says `I never get tired of these kids` enthusiasm. They just love the idea of having their own dictionary and in the program we do with them we try to get them to understand that they can own not only the dictionary but also all the words in it!`
An added treat for the visiting students was Sergeant Eric Boothroyd, a civil war re-enactor from Dover Foxcroft. The Sergeant provides a bit of a history lesson and entertainment. He sets the stage for the students to understand how the Grange came into being shortly after the war and continues to be an organization about `people helping each other and the community.`
Boomsma estimates that Valley Grange will distribute around 180 dictionaries this year after traveling to Lagrange, Milo, and Brownville in November. Parents of homeschooled children are urged to contact their local school or the Grange. Extra dictionaries are also available for children moving into the area.
For additional information about the `Words for Thirds` program visit the Valley Grange website at http://valleygrange.wordpress.com. You can look it up!
Third graders from SeDoMoCha Elementary wrote:
I loved the presentation, I learned what the spud,owl, pruning hook, and shepherd`s crook was used for. Every night I`m going to go on a word hunt if I have time to read. First I ask my little sister what word she wants. Next, I look it up. Then, I say what word I want to look up. Then I read the definition for it.
Thank you so much for the presentation. I learned a lot. One of the things I learned was that the grange is about farmers. I`m going to use my dictionary for looking up stuff about animals.
Thank you for inviting me to your work. I learned about the civil war. I will use my dictionary for everything.
Thank you for the presentation you showed us about your grange. I learned about some of the tools you use in the grange. I will use my dictionary for looking up words to study and look up what word mean. I loved visiting the Valley Grange!
I`m very pleased that you let all of us come to the grange this year. I learned a lot of stuff about the civil war. And I will use the dictionary for lots of things.
Thank you for the beautfil dictionary. Me and my brother Tucker have a game with the dictionary. My brother calls out a word and I find the meaning.
Thank you for the dictionary. It was veary nice of you to give them to us. I use it for words. My mom was happy that I do not need to asking them all these words anymore. I love that we got them. I love to look in that book. I loved the trip we went on. I like the sgt part. It was so cool. I love all of it.
Thank you for the dictionary. I plane to use the dictionary for writting pecis and letters and for work to do at school. I loved the trip to the grange and avrething that you told us. I lernd a lot on Friday at the grange. I had a lot of fun on Friday. Sierra