National School Breakfast Week 2018

National School Breakfast Week 2018 will soon be upon us here in Sugar Grove. Last year was epic in every way thanks to the Sugar Grove School Alumni Group, community churches and organizations. We managed to deliver the largest haul of prize giveaways in the county for the event and also in the history of our school’s hosting this event.

This year, the event will be March 5th through 9th and we hope to deliver again when it comes to prize giveaways. A wishlist has been posted here. All items have been re-listed so that we don’t have too many repeats from last year. The items this year include STEM toys, games, and more! Most items are under $15 each with many being less than $10.

All items purchased from this wishlist are shipped directly to the Sugar Grove School Cafeteria for the event. Our efforts will continue until February 25th. This will give items time to arrive at the school prior to the event. We currently are in need of more items this year to meet the minimum needed to host the event.

If you are part of a church or community organization who would like to sponsor the purchase of bicycles, please let Sarah know at SarahRCombs@gmail.com so that delivery of these larger items can be coordinated.

Neighborhood Watch Efforts in Sugar Grove

In recent months our community has experienced several minor crime waves that involved items being taken from parked vehicles left unlocked in driveways and out buildings as well as a few suspicious characters walking around after dark. These are all things that should heighten your awareness and bring about some concern not only for yourself but your neighbors as well.

Neighborhood watch programs are very effective in stopping would-be criminals but they are only effective when they are actively and regularly carried out. In the past, neighborhood watch programs just involved a basic phone tree. If you see something, you call a few people and let them know so that they get a heads up on what’s going down. Now we have more resources and information can travel much quicker via the internet, security camera footage and more.

Several inquiries have been made via the community Facebook page about a neighborhood watch. It’s been frequent enough that a group has been set up on Facebook for those who are interested in participating. Sugar Grove Neighborhood Watch can be found here. The group is a private group and is available to those who want to act in the capacity of neighborhood captains. Once we see how much interest there is in making this happen, and once we have an adequate number of individuals from neighborhoods in the community, we will then set up a page through which verified and validated information will be disbursed. The Sugar Grove Neighborhood Watch program will strive to stay involved with local authorities, EMS groups and sources of official information as well as keep in communication with various neighborhood captains in an effort to deliver important information about what may be going on in our community at any given point and time.

Those interested in acting as neighborhood captains are currently the only individuals who will have posting access on the Facebook group. Posts are read and comment only at this time.

If you are interested in this effort, please check out the Facebook group and request access.

Dollar General Progress

The new Dollar General is well on its way to completion. At the end of July, the grounds were cleared and prepped for construction. We have seen quite a few changes over the past two months take place at this spot in our community. The beginning of August, the store began going up and within a day or two, was a skeleton of what will become a Dollar General. A week later, the building had walls and is beginning to look like a DG store.

In more recent days, we have seen periodic closures of Flat Ridge Road off Sugar Grove HWY due to the new drains and water works taking place to accommodate the new store.

This past week, we noticed one of the three crosses had been taken down presumably due to the installation of new drains and hopefully will be placed back as it was when they are finished.

As it turns out, little is known about the three crosses alongside Sugar Grove Highway. These three crosses are one of many sets that pepper the highways across more than 29 states, the Philippines and Zambia. Placed by Reverend Bernard Coffindaffer the first of which were erected about 65 miles north of Charleston in 1984.

Coffindaffer was a WWII Veteran who served in the Marines and fought in Iwo Jima

Our crosses here in Sugar Grove were placed September 25, 1986. The site is #424 according to documentation.

Sugar Grove Yearbooks at Library of Virginia

Sugar Grove School’s yearbooks can now be accessed in high quality digital format on the Library of Virginia’s digital archives here. Sugar Grove School Alumni has featured digital yearbooks for several years on a facebook group however, that was not available to the general public. It has been a goal to make this collection available to anyone who would like to see it. Finding a proper means of doing that has been a challenge until now.

At this time, the yearbooks are partially available on this website and also available at the above listed site as a free resource. Many if not most of these yearbooks are no longer available at the school so there is even more of a reason to make them available.

Through this digitization project, anyone with an internet connection can access the yearbooks, search them and eventually, will be able to search the contents as the files are processed at LVA.

These images are of the highest available quality and hopefully will be enjoyed by everyone.

School Closure Discussed Again

Many of you remember 2014 well. Our school was consolidated by a spite vote thrown by Rich Valley school board member, Mac Buchanan. Furthermore, his 11 minute speech about our community is still available on youtube for those who want to listen to it as well as the lackluster comments of our own Rye Valley school board representative.  This topic of discussion is being reactivated according to a recent article in Smyth County News quoting Buchanan on the topic.

The moment our school was consolidated, we lost a huge chunk of the student body and our school was permanently damaged at that point. It was well known that our enrollment would never come back up to what it was before, it was widely that the next move would be closure and now that discussion is beginning to come up again.  Well folks, Sugar Grove needs to discuss this issue as well and hold our school board member accountable for his past voting record and the votes he will cast affecting our school between now and the end of his term in 2018.

Sugar Grove cannot allow the school board to take another vote in favor of something that damages our community and economics the way consolidating our school has.  The time to begin taking action is RIGHT NOW. We all know that our school will be the one targeted for closure when this issue comes to a vote and we all know that despite 972 petition signatures which was more than 90% of the registered voters in our district, different options were not sought. Instead, a simple “no” vote was cast that didn’t matter at that point because of all of the “yes” votes that had been cast prior by our representative in compliance and favor of the Facilities Master Plan which has several scenarios for facilities management throughout the county that a majority of which result in closure for Sugar Grove School.

The Rye Valley District has two local elections coming up. The position of County Supervisor for Rye Valley will be up for grabs again in 2019. The position of School Board representative for Rye Valley comes up again in 2018.  Those are two very important positions for our community all things considered.

We should be using the next two years wisely, seeking out qualified people to fill these elected positions in such way so as to move our community forward and promote the best interest of our community’s future and economic development. What we shouldn’t be doing it sitting around thinking that something will happen. No, things don’t just happen by themselves. If you are interested in either of these two offices, ask questions, get the information you need and complete the paper work with the appropriate individuals to establish that you will be seeking an elected office. Sugar Grove deserves a bright future that we are never going to have if our school closes and other matters of local government are left hung out to dry as has been the case for the last several decades concerning our community.

Sugar Grove Farmers Market Opening Soon

The Sugar Grove Farmers Market will be opening soon for the 2017 season!  We have all new vendors lined up and some returning vendors from previous seasons! You won’t want to miss what we have in store for 2017.

If you are a vendor and would like to offer your merchandise at our market, please contact management at SugarGroveVirginia@gmail.com with inquiries and a description of the merchandise you’d like to offer.

NEW THIS SEASON, we will be offering hand crafted furniture from Duble A’s, USDA certified organic pork products from B&R Farms and a variety of other locally sourced items with more arriving as the season moves forward.

The Sugar Grove Farmers Market strives to provide locally sourced, high quality merchandise and create a high standard for both vendors and customers. This year is no different. You will find that our all new online shopping experience will make even more of the great products we have to offer available to you. This year, we are partnering with vendors from other local markets to broaden the variety of merchandise.

The Sugar Grove Farmers Market was established in 2013 and has grown exponentially since. The market began as a small setup at a physical location. As time went on, we found new ways to serve our customer base while working with vendors in a manner so as to grow the market and offer much more to our community. While we aren’t your everyday conventional farmers market, we are doing something good in our small rural community that will hopefully come full circle for the greater good of our community.

The Sugar Grove Farmers Market is scheduled to open on May 15. Please check back for updates on how to shop!

Sugar Grove Yearbook Collection Now Available

For the past few years, Sugar Grove School Alumni have found a small corner of the web on a private Facebook group where a variety of yearbooks, photos and other school related items have been shared and discussed. Our little group has flourished since its creation originating from a small but growing collection of school yearbooks. The group has digital copies of all published Sugar Grove High School yearbooks from 1949-1969 as well as most yearbooks from 1970 to present. Until now, these yearbooks were not available outside of the group except in their physical form at events or by appointment for private viewing.  Nonetheless, these yearbooks are a community resource that should be publicly available to anyone wishing to browse them.

Though the fact that there was a book scanner available for public use at Smyth Bland Regional Library–soon to be the Smyth County Public LIbrary–it only recently came to my attention. Hopefully these yearbooks will be digitally available on the S-B Digital Repository as well as through this website. The S-B site will feature searchable text while the Sugar Grove page here will just provide general browsing options.

Currently the available options are available under the COMMUNITY > ALUMNI GROUP drop down at the top of the page in our YEARBOOKS section.   As the available digital resources of this website grow, they will be further categorized and organized into sections for more efficient browsing.  If you have a yearbook to donate or lend to digitize please email SugarGroveVirginia@gmail.com

All New Sugar Grove Farmers Market for 2017

The Sugar Grove Farmers Market, established in 2013 has been a major success in the community pairing vendors with consumers. Since 2013, we have seen several changes. We have moved from a physical location to an online location after having record turn out at our physical location events and after having been copy-catted by other organizations but we are still going strong!

Last year, we brought you the online farmers market experience. That was hugely successful for those who used it but it presented some hurdles for a lot of people as well. Over this past year, we have looked at those issues and taken every available measure to simplify the process. This year the farmers market will continue to be online however, it will be accessible to more people and will be more user-friendly.

The new Sugar Grove Farmers Market online will require management’s approval on new vendors however, vendors will find that once their items are listed, there will be an option to offer them locally OR list them in a broader marketplace to reach a much larger customer base.

The same rules will apply as have been applied before and those can be found here. The listing process will be much easier than before. It’s as simple as take a picture, upload it, set a price and write a description.

Over the past few years, our market has never charged vendors one penny to participate and sell items–we are keeping it that way! Vendors sell for free and keep 100% of their profits.

If you are interested in being a vendor, please contact management at SugarGroveVirginia@gmail.com with details about the items you would like to sell at our market.  This new online format presents not only a great selling opportunity but also a wonderful community opportunity to increase visibility and online presence, reach potential customers outside of the community and do it all from the comfort of your own home until the opportunity is available once again for a physical location.

Over 100 Prizes Given Away at Sugar Grove School

Grand Prize winners of Sugar Grove School’s National Breakfast Week grand prize drawing. Dalton Ray and Kennedy Mattingly are the winners of the two bikes donated by Rowland Creek Church of the Brethren.

Students at Sugar Grove School participated in National Breakfast Week during the entire week. The program encourages children to begin each day with a healthy breakfast. Each student who participated had the chance to be entered into the daily drawing for one of the prizes. There were also multiple prize opportunities in the serving line for the students who picked up a “lucky tray” which was randomly pre-selected by the cafeteria staff before each group came through the line.

More than 100 prizes were given away this year during Breakfast week at Sugar Grove. According to cafeteria manager, Elizabeth Aker, this was the largest number of prizes in any year the school has participated. We would like to thank the Sugar Grove School Alumni Group for sponsoring the donation drive that brought in items for this cause as well as Rowland Creek Church of the Brethren for their generous donation of the two bikes and other items as well as those in the community and beyond who contributed in various ways to our program. It was the best yet. There was over 95% participation in National Breakfast Week from Sugar Grove School’s student body–there were even enough prizes to include our former students who still eat breakfast at Sugar Grove but attend school at Marion!

On March 10, 2017, the school gathered in the gym for the final grand prize drawing of the week. The large teddy bears, cash prizes and two bikes were the prizes on today’s list of giveaways. The bikes were won by Dalton Ray and Kennedy Mattingly. Dalton took his bike for a ride around the gym while Kennedy marveled at hers.

Box Tops for Education | Sugar Grove School

Box Tops For Education is a national program that benefits schools.  When you buy participating products at your local retailer and clip the box top logo, it is turned in to the school you support and exchanged for money that the school can put toward needed items.

Sugar Grove School is collecting box tops. The money we save doing this will go toward building up our school library’s selection of books.  A full listing of participating items can be found here along with fun collection sheets you can print and use. NOTE: You do not have to attach the box tops to the collection sheet to participate, you may simply clip them and deliver them to the school either by mail, by a student or in person at the office. (Mail to Sugar Grove School 242 Teas Road, Sugar Grove, VA 24375)

Please send them in each month as they do have an expiration date.

If you would like to follow the school’s progress, you can create a free login at http://www.boxtops4education.com Creating an account is not only free but it will let you watch our school’s progress and how we stack up against other participating area schools. Right now, this is where we stand among area schools, we are #27