2005-11-10 / News

Grange celebrates 116 years

By Charlotte Richardson

Students study the dictionaries donated by the Grange. Photo by Vic Richardson Students study the dictionaries donated by the Grange. Photo by Vic Richardson Conanicut Grangers met recently and celebrated the 116th anniversary of Granging in Jamestown. A review of the history of Conanicut was read and statewide program plan-books for the 2005-2006 year were distributed to the committee chairs in preparation for the new year.

Highlighted in the reports given by Grange President Charlotte Richardson and Secretary Fran Mackabee was their visit on behalf of all Conanicut Grange members to Melrose Avenue School to give a student dictionary to each and every third-grade student, in conjunction with the National Grange Program called “Words for the Thirds, the Dictionary Project.”

The dictionaries become the personal property of the students to be used for many years as they proceed along their educational journeys.

Conanicut Grange is but a small part of a nationwide goal to provide this valuable tool to every third-grader in the United States, and from 1995 when the dictionary project began to 2004, 2,336,672 dictionaries have been presented by Granges and many other community service-based organizations across the nation.

The books are not simply dictionaries. They are filled with reference material on myriad subjects and are received with great delight by the students. Donations to further this program both in Jamestown and throughout Rhode Island are always welcome. Please call me, Charlotte, at 423-1026 if you would like to help.

The school visit marked Conanicut Grangers’ third year of participation in this program, which began several years ago in South Carolina. The story of its beginning was read to the children and they scurried to look up the meaning of words like “Grange,” “patrons,” and “husbandry,” and they were captivated by the longest word in the English Language, consisting of 1,900 letters described as a term for a tryptophan synthesis protein, an enzyme that has 267 amino acids.

It is always a delightful visit for all concerned, and we look forward to repeating it every year. The challenge to the student is “Look It UP!” and each student is further challenged to write a story, letter, or poem using any three words found in the dictionary, to be sent to the members of Conanicut Grange, which we call Words From the Thirds, and we look forward to receiving them, as we have in the past, for each one is unique and quite lovely.

In other business, Conanicut Grangers were pleased to learn that they had captured the prize for the highest net gain in membership in Rhode Island. This was achieved in February 2005 when 16 members of our farm community families, along with two other new members, joined our ranks, thereby doubling our membership. State awards for art, photography, 100 percent payment of dues, membership, youngsters’ coloringbook contest, and song writing were received by members of the Conanicut Grange who participated in the many annual contests provided for Grangers.

The Grange is always open to new members and new horizons, and we meet on the first Wednesday of each month in the Senior Center at the Grange Hall on West Street at 1:30 p.m. The Grangers would love to have you stop by for a visit or to become a member. The Grange’s welcome mat is always out!

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