Ministry of the Month: Learning Starts Early + Gobble, Gobble, Run or Wobble 5k

NOVEMBER 2017 MINISTRY OF THE MONTH

On Saturday, November 18, the third-annual Gobble, Gobble, Run or Wobble 5k & Kids’ Fun Run will wind through the streets of Old Town Warrenton. You can register for the race here.

While the event is an absolute blast, complete with a turkey mascot on a bicycle, it also serves a much more profound purpose: funding efforts to increase access to preschool in Fauquier County through a Saint James’ initiative called Learning Starts Early.

Learning Starts Early (LSE) is an outreach ministry with a simple vision: that each child is a beloved child of God, and that each child should enter kindergarten ready to thrive and grow academically, socially and emotionally.

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By The Numbers: Saint James’ Church & School

As we look ahead with great hope and optimism to Pledge Day, April 2, 2017, it is fitting that we take a moment to look more closely at our largest ministry, largest donor, and continuing success story, Saint James’ Episcopal School. The numbers below leave no doubt that education is a central passion and gift of our parish. 


Saint James’ Episcopal Church & School by the Numbers

50

50 years ago the education wing was built onto our church. At that time there was no school and the parish consisted of 309 members.

898

898 adults and children call Saint James’ their home today

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A Stewardship Message from Fr Ben

Do you choose easy or do you choose adventure?

I asked this question on my first Sunday at Saint James’ four years ago this winter. I talked about asking my daughter that question half way through a rather rigorous hike, I encouraged you to consider all the ways that Jesus asked his followers that same question, and whether God might be asking the people of Saint James’ Episcopal Church the same question.

Years later I am ever more convinced both of God’s call to us and our resounding answer, “ADVENTURE!!!”. Here is the rub. Adventure is not easy. Jesus certainly never said it would be.

One of my favorite prayers, attributed to 16th century explorer, Sir Francis Drake, asks the same question of us. Have we arrived safely because we sailed too close to shore… (have we) fallen in love with life and ceased to dream of eternity?

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Church & School Town Hall Meetings

March 6 & 13 after the 10:15 service

At our annual meeting, Senior Warden, Bill Turnure, used the metaphor of a duck paddling furiously beneath the surface yet calm to the naked eye above. He was describing both our Learning Starts Early initiative as well as the four years of careful planning behind our renovation and expansion.   To that end, the work is paying off as we are inching closer to our goal of breaking ground early next year (2017).

Now we need to integrate your feedback into the project.  Please plan on attending one of our two church and school town hall meetings on Sunday March 6th and 13th following our 10:15 service at noon in the parish hall.   We will review the expansion and renovation plans, answer any questions, solicit feedback and give you time in small groups to discuss your ideas, suggestions, concerns, and enthusiasms.   Refreshments will be provided.

Volunteer at Preschool Workshops

lse sjecInterested in volunteering for a preschool workshop? Register here!

Why volunteer to help with the Preschool Workshops Saint James’ is co-sponsoring?

Here are some facts about preschool that may surprise and inspire you to help:

  1. Preschool can help combat crime, teen pregnancy, and high school dropout rates. When children have the benefit of a high-quality early childhood education, they make cognitive and social gains that prepare them to start school. These foundational skills allow them to build on their learning and knowledge through school and into adulthood. As a result, a child without an early childhood education is 25 percent more likely to drop out of school, 40 percent more likely to become a teenage parent, and 70 percent more likely to be arrested for a violent crime.
  2. Early childhood education has a better return on investment than the stock market. Some policymakers worry about the upfront cost of early childhood education. However, studies show that early childhood education is one of the best investments we can make—and that includes investments in the financial market. The estimated return on investment for high quality early childhood education is ten percent. In comparison, the average return on investment in the stock market is 7.2 percent.

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Learning Starts Early, and you can help!

Saint James’ is so excited to launch Learning Starts Early. How can you help grow this ministry? Register as a volunteer for any or all of the three Free Preschool Parent Workshops Saint James’ is helping make possible. 20 volunteers are needed for each session. See a complete description of volunteer opportunities.

lse sjecWhat do children learn in preschool?

Statistics show that on a weekly basis:

  • more than 90 percent of preschool students spend time learning the names of letters and seeing print while reading
  • more than 80 percent practice writing
  • 89 percent work on writing their own names
  • more than 90 percent of preschool
  • students practice counting out loud at
  • least once per week
  • 90 percent use geometric manipulatives.

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Not Too Late to Register for Nov 21 5K!

Gobble, Gobble, Run or Wobble is almost here!Race Graphic (2)

Saturday, November 21st will be our first-ever 5-K & Kids Run in support of “Learning Starts Early.” You can sign up here.

Please join us! This event will be benefiting preschool children of at-risk families in Fauquier County. By coming out you help ensure that every child in the county has access to all of the opportunities necessary to be ready for kindergarten and to succeed in school and in the workforce.

This is an event for the whole family to run or wobble down the historic streets of Warrenton. Come join the fun and support the “Learning Starts Early” Fund!

Interested in becoming a sponsor? You can donate here! 

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register here blue 3d realistic square isolated button

Gobble, Gobble, Run or Wobble 5k – Nov 21st

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5k + Kids’ Run – November 21

Saturday, November 21st will be our first-ever Turkey Trot, Gobble, Gobble, Run or Wobble 5-K & Kids Run in support of “Learning Starts Early.” You can sign up here.

Please join us! This event will be benefiting preschool children of at-risk families in Fauquier County. By coming out you help ensure that every child in the county has access to all of the opportunities necessary to be ready for kindergarten and to succeed in school and in the workforce. 

This is an event for the whole family to run or wobble down the historic streets of Warrenton. Come join the fun and support the “Learning Starts Early” Fund!

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Here’s the form and information!

“Learning Starts Early” Fund

a fund of the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation

Our Mission – Ensure that every child in the county has access to all of the opportunities necessary to be ready for kindergarten and to succeed in school and in the workforce.

Rationale – Last year in Fauquier County, nearly 1 in 5 children entering kindergarten did not meet the reading readiness benchmarks established by the state.  Often they never catch up. These children are at a much greater risk of being unskilled and facing difficult obstacles in life, which is detrimental to the individuals and society.

Additionally, 166 children (22%) entering kindergarten in Fauquier County Public Schools this year did not attend any formal or institutional pre-kindergarten program or were in the care of an unlicensed childcare provider. A substantial body of research spanning decades proves that high quality preschool education can substantially improve the learning and development of all young children, and especially children from low income families, children whose parents lack high school diplomas, or children without homes.

Local Programs which target the preschool children of at-risk families in our community:

  • Fauquier Community Action Committee’s (FCAC) Head Start
  • Fauquier County Public School’s (FCPS) Virginia Preschool Initiative.

Head Start and the Virginia Preschool Initiative work together to coordinate services to best serve their students and families. Both have substantial funding needs in order to provide the highest quality preschool education.  The Learning Starts Early Fund will donate all of the proceeds from the Gobble, Gobble, Run or Wobble 5K and Kids Run to meet one or more of the following needs:

  • Increase the number of classrooms
  • Parent resource programs
  • Classroom materials, including educational technology to enhance traditional instruction
  • Before and after-school daycare for working families
  • Field trips and other important special learning experiences