Washington column for Nov. 24

’Tis the season

It’s Thanksgiving, a time we travel “over the river, and through the hollows” to celebrate with family and friends.

We should be grateful for the little things that make each day worthwhile. Remember to count your blessings, however great or small, for they’re the silver lining whenever storm clouds come your way.

Many generous folks use Thanksgiving as an opportunity to help the less fortunate. Whatever you do this Thanksgiving, let’s be reminded as a nation and as individuals to give thanks for all the blessings God has given to us. On Thanksgiving day, let’s take a step back and reflect on the positive things that have happened in our life over the past year and the things that bring joy into your life.

The community Thanksgiving service at 10 a.m Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24) at St. Peter Catholic Church will include a community choir with music directed by Washington Baptist Church members Gary and Wendy Aichele. All are welcome.

I wish everyone a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.

The nature of community at CCLC

Community involvement enriches the nature curriculum at Child Care and Learning Center, reports CCLC’s program director, Lisa Pendleton: Amy Grady, parent of one of the Child Care and Learning Center’s students, and the elementary school’s art teacher, came to CCLC after school several times to work with the School Age Enrichment Program class to develop and paint a beautiful mural on the tool shed, giving the children a sense of responsibility and ownership of their creative artwork.

Amy Grady (right), plus teacher Kevin Goodwin teacher and Children-in-Nature director Christina Loock, pose with the students around CCLC's new shed mural.
Amy Grady (right), plus teacher Kevin Goodwin teacher and Children-in-Nature director Christina Loock, pose with the students around CCLC’s new shed mural. By Lisa Pendleton

Rappahannock Extension 4-H leader Jenny Kapsa comes once a month to work with the children; this club planted flower bulbs on the campus for our enjoyment in the spring. Stephanie DeNicola-Turner, the education coordinator at the Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District, made it possible for six of our teachers to attend the Growing Up Wild Curriculum training last month funded by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Just this past week, the infant/toddler class made leaf prints, the two-year-olds’ class enjoyed leaf rubbings and talked about the characteristics of leaves, the preschool class used the Teaching Strategies Gold Tree Study to explore the many parts of a tree, the School Age Enrichment Program used potters clay to create their own pumpkins and, through CCLC’s Children-in-Nature Program, all the children, infant through school age, used the greenhouse, gardens and nature trails to explore seeds and the life cycle of plants.

CCLC is working toward being a model for other preschools in the area. Last week, Lisa Pendleton and Christina Loock, CCLC’s Children-in-Nature director, gave a presentation about incorporating nature-based learning into the daily routine to other early childhood educators during a Smart Beginnings Conference at Mary Washington University.

Donna LaPre’s Studio Sale

Donna LaPre hosts her annual Christmas studio sale from 11 to 5 p.m. this Saturday (Nov. 26) — and on Saturday, Dec. 10 — at her home (130 Fodderstack Rd., Washington). Among the offerings: new textile and fiber art treasures, plus Tender Flower’s botanical natural care and fragrances. The studio has undergone its first phase of renovation and looks great. Also find her Sunday, Dec. 4, from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. at the Christmas in Little Washington Artisan’s Market at the RAAC Theater. Remember, Christmas is just around the corner.

News from Phil Bailey

Former Washington Baptist Church pastor Phil Bailey sent this note on behalf of Gavin Jenkins and Sam Barnes and how well they did in the Group 1A VHSL Cross-Country Championships at Great Meadows last week.

It was a great joy to be at the VHSL State Cross-Country Championships at Great Meadows in the Plains on November 11th to see Gavin Jenkins and Sam Barnes run. It was a beautiful Fall day and the energy level was high with hundreds of young people running to and fro preparing for their race. Being myself a long distance runner in high school and college and a Physical Education major, I have always enjoyed athletic competition and have sought to support the young people who participate whenever I can. I had kept up with Gavin’s racing since he was in middle school and he has accomplished many honors for his efforts. Seeing in the Rappahannock News (which I still get since moving to Bedford, Virginia) that this was the final meet of his high school career my wife Karyl and I made a point to attend.

I am happy to report that both Gavin and Sam represented Rappahannock County extremely well in the Group 1A Championship with Gavin taking first place and Sam tenth (out of 102 runners). But more importantly they represented you well (as always) with good sportsmanship and respectful behavior. I am proud along with their families and all of you of both of these young men and congratulate them on their high achievement and character.

In case you might like to know, my wife and I are enjoying immensely our first grandchild, Andrew Phillip Cognetti. Look for us on Interstate 81 as we travel back and forth fairly regularly to Clark Summit, Pennsylvania near Scranton.


Belated birthday wishes go out to a dear special lady, Ruth Baumgardner of Washington. She celebrated her special day on Nov. 17.

Have a wonderful week!