Valley Grange honors young advertisement designers

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GUILFORD — For a decade the Valley Grange of Guilford has sponsored advertisements in the Piscataquis Observer’s annual Newspapers in Education supplement, which features business advertisement content created and drawn by school children from across the area.

The advertisements for the Valley Grange have been drawn by students at the former Guilford Primary School and currently at Piscataquis Community Elementary School (PCES) as again this year PCES third- and fourth-graders put their talents to work.

Nearly all the Newspaper in Education advertisements are done by middle and high school students, but the Valley Grange saw an opportunity to include some younger artists. Through a collaboration with PCES art teacher Jane Daniels, the Valley Grange continues to sponsor two ads every year — one drawn by a third-grader and another by a grade 4 pupil. All students in the two grades participate and Daniels now includes the program as part of her art curriculum.

“This is a great opportunity for the kids to experience the commercial aspect of art and see how they might explore a career in art,” Daniels said.

During a morning assembly on March 23 the grade winners, along with the second- and third-place artists, were all announced. The Valley Grange uses the top three advertisements from each grade in organization promotional materials throughout the year.

With the students sitting on one section of the gym bleachers, Valley Grange Lecturer and Program Director Walter Boomsma told the audience, “Many of you know all about Newspapers in Education. I didn’t realize this but this is is our 10th year with Newspapers in Education, we started this program before some of you were born.”

Boomsma said first Daniels needed to be thanked first for all she does for the program. “We also need to thank the Valley Grangers, they are actually the ones who pay for this program,” he said, introducing several of his fellow members in attendance.

“But the real reason we are here is to find out who the winners are, and you might be surprised but the winner is everyone but we really only think you are the winner if you did your best work,” Boomsma said. All the grade 3-4 students participating received a miniature certificate in the form of a magnet.
Starting with grade 3, Boomsma’s slideshow showed that Aiden Graves had the third-place advertisement and Chris Merrill placed second. The winning third grade advertisement was revealed as the work of art created by Braylin Beckwith.

“This is one of the ads that will appear in the newspaper,” Boomsma said.

The PCES fourth-graders then had their turn to learn the results as Caleb McKusick drew the third-place advertisement and second-place honors went to Lizzi Gilbert. The forthcoming published advertisement belongs to Jaiyde True, who came in third a year ago when she was a third-grader.

The Valley Grange actively supports PCES, along with other schools in the region, with additional programs such as Dictionary Day/Words for Thirds, Bookworming and GrowME agricultural activities, and often the students opt to use these programs in their advertisements.

“It’s always personally rewarding to see the emphasis on reading and bookworming,” Boomsma said. “These kids seem to understand what Valley Grange values and what it takes to make those things happen. The ads feature a ‘call to action’ that often encourages people to volunteer or become a member.”

Boomsma said he believes “some of these kids are destined to become Grangers.”

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
VALLEY GRANGE AD WINNERS — On March 23 the Valley Grange of Guilford announced the winners in the organization’s 10th annual Newspapers in Education advertising contest as Piscataquis Community Elementary School third- and fourth-graders all draw an advertisement to represent the Valley Grange in the annual supplement in the Piscataquis Observer. From left are third-graders Aiden Graves, Braylin Beckwith and Chris Merrill –who placed third, first and second respectively — and grade 4 students Lizzi Gilbert, Jaiyde True and Caleb McKusick — the grade’s respective third-, first- and second-place winners. The presentation was made on Crazy Hair Day at the Guilford school.

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