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From The Lecturer's Desk
From the Lecturer’s Desk: Partnering for Success

By David Roberts, CT State Grange Lecturer

  MAY 1, 2023 --

As you are reading this article, we are just completing the month of April which National Grange encourages us to celebrate at “Grange Month”. This is such a great time to open our Grange Halls to the public to help celebrate with us as we honor what makes our community great. For me, I was so pleased that Riverton Grange welcomed our newest member, Steven Arba Roberts, my second cousin, who joined Grange. Steven’s and my great grandparents were charter members of Riverton Grange, and our family has been a member now for FIVE generations. Steven’s middle name (Arba) was my father’s first name. My father and Grandmother were both Golden Sheaf Grangers and brought me into the Grange at 14 years of age. I asked Steven why he waited so long to join Grange, and he said that I was the first person to ask him to join. So, my message to all of you is to learn from his response and ask folks who you think would be great Grange members.

As Lecturers/Program Directors, our roles dovetail so strategically with membership, community service, legislation, family activities, and other aspects of our Grange. Working with all areas of the Grange, we can make our Grange halls thrive.

One opportunity that I highly encourage your Grange to participate in is the Community Citizen Award. I plan to present this award at North Stonington Community Grange in the near future, similar to my visit there last year.  I remember their hall being filled with attendees to see their honoree accept this recognition. All our communities have outstanding citizens who deserve recognition, and this is one way to showcase the impact of your community Grange. Here is a link to the National Grange page to order all you need for a successful Community Citizen Award program: Grange-Month- Citizen-Award-Order-form-2023. pdf (nationalgrange.org).

I hope you all were able to read my Guest Editorial in the April 2023 edition of Good Day! Magazine titled “Partnering for Success: National Grange plus Lions International plus Rural Minds”. In this article, I spotlighted just one example of promoting mental health awareness that we have undertaken here in Connecticut. We all know that there is a mental health emergency in rural America. People living in rural communities have much higher rates of depression and suicide than people living in urban areas. That’s why the National Grange is partnering with Rural Minds – a nonprofit organization confronting the mental health challenges faced by rural Americans – to develop a Rural Suicide Awareness and Prevention program. National Grange’s goal for this educational program is to create a grassroots, person-to-person approach that provides people who live in rural communities with mental health and suicide prevention information. As  part  of  this  program,  the National Grange and Rural Minds hosted a webinar (see link) on suicide awareness and prevention. This webinar is just one piece of our educational program. It will be housed on an expanding Rural Suicide Awareness and Prevention webpage (see link) that provides additional resources for mental health and suicide prevention. Join your fellow Connecticut Grangers and become an important part of the solution in preventing suicide in rural America. Granges that participate can be recognized as a Golden Grange In Action for 2023.

It is such an honor and privilege to serve as your Connecticut State Grange Lecturer again this year. Under the leadership of State President Rob Buck and his team, we are energizing some of our Granges and re-opening some doors! Watch this column and the State Grange website as we continue to promote programs for all our Granges. Until then, stay safe and healthy and remember that we were all #RaisedRightHere!



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