Valley Grange Bookworms wiggling into PCES to read with students

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GUILFORD — For more than a decade Valley Grange Bookworms have been coming to Piscataquis Community Elementary School (and previously at the former Guilford Primary School) to share their love of books with second- and third-graders as the pupils spend time reading a book of their choice to the adult visitors.

During an afternoon assembly in the cafeteria on Oct. 23, grade 2-3 students heard from Valley Grange Lecturer Walter Boomsma as he talked about this year’s Valley Grange Bookworm program the day before the first session.

“So who are the bookworms, bookworms are members of the Valley Grange who like to read and be read to,” Boomsma said. “Some of the bookworms are here today,” he said, introducing the four present and having a slideshow with the names of all the participants.

“What happens with bookworms is we take turns,” Boomsma said. “We take turns, we come here on Tuesday and Thursday morning. We are here for about an hour and what I think is really cool is you pick the books you are going to read to us.”

Boomsma asked the students to be thinking about their reading selections, mentioning he likes joke books.

“It will probably be someone different every time,” Boomsma said.

Bookworm visits rotate by classroom, with students selected by their teachers to read for about 15 minutes per pupil. “We are going to do this all year until June, so hopefully everybody gets a turn,” Boomsma said.

Third-graders Ayden Caissie, Karmon Libera and Karrigan Wilson all said they enjoyed reading with the Valley Grange Bookworms last year.

Caissie said he liked “that we got to read with different people and not just one person.”

Wilson said she likes reading, so for her it was fun to share the activity she enjoys.

“I like that we got to pick out our own books,” Libera said.

“I picked out Dr. Seuss and ‘The Night Before Christmas,” Caissie said.

“I picked chapter books and poems,” Libera said.

For more than a decade and a half Valley Grange has given dictionaries to SAD 4 third-graders, and in the years since the initiative has grown to include other area school districts. The bookworms program began as a way for Grange members to stay involved with students. Former Principal Julie Orton suggested the pupils would be more engaged if they were the ones reading aloud to the adults.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
READING WITH THE VALLEY GRANGE BOOKWORMS — The Valley Grange Bookworms will again be visiting Piscataquis Community Elementary School second- and third-graders on Tuesday and Thursday mornings to hear the students read aloud to them. Among the grade 3 pupils at the school in Guilford who are looking forward to participating this year are Karrigan Wilson, left, and Ayden Caissie.

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