Washington column for Dec. 15 

CCLC’s 40th anniversary

Long-standing supporters, former and current program staff and many of the children celebrated CCLC’s 40th anniversary last Friday (Dec. 9).
Long-standing supporters, former and current program staff and many of the children celebrated CCLC’s 40th anniversary last Friday (Dec. 9). By Kim Goodwin

Last Friday morning (Dec.9) many original founders of Washington’s Child Care and Learning Center met up with other long-standing supporters, former and current program staff and many of the children to celebrate CCLC’s 40th anniversary.

The staff toured around the woodland campus and to each classroom. The most exciting features were the children’s gardens, greenhouse and outdoor pavilion, showcases of the center’s nature-based programs.

Board chair Betsy Dietel graciously welcomed the CCLC history makers and thanked them for their service, contributions and loyal support. Lisa Pendleton, program director, shared statistics on CCLC’s current program’s success and how scholarships are critical for families in need.

Diane Trister Dodge, developer of Creative Curriculum, gave an overview of the world-class curriculum used at CCLC, and how it supports children to become academically, socially and emotionally prepared for elementary school, and for life. Executive Director Fred Catlin spoke about the enrichment programs that make CCLC so popular today.

Fred then invited the guests to share memories of CCLC’s past, and that generated stories and even some happy tears. Since opening its doors in 1976, CCLC (then named Sursum Corda) has been a foundation of learning for children and their families through early childhood education. Camille Harris, the founder and first executive director, retold the history of how the name Sursum Corda, which means “Lift Up Your Hearts,” was chosen, the importance of becoming a nonprofit and the name change to Child Care and Learning Center.

The children, who made a celebratory cake, performed several songs for the crowd and delighted everyone with a rendition of “Happy Birthday” to CCLC. As the morning drew to a close, Fred shared some final thoughts for CCLC’s successful future, leaving everyone with a feeling of love for our community-supported child care program.

“These 40 years of excellence in early childhood education have poised the center for continued success as they embrace the evolving educational needs of the community,” said Lisa Pendleton. “With more than 4,000 children cared for over the past four decades, community involvement, and innovative programs CCLC has made — and will continue to make — a large contribution to families and the community for decades to come.”

Cheer and warmth at town hall

Washington Town Hall Sunday evening was the site of the annual Town Christmas party at which more than 80 folks thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

According to the Mayor John Sullivan, the food was plentiful and scrumptious, wine, beer and soft drinks were ever-present and the sense of community was strong and joyous. Sullivan said many, many people were involved in transforming the town hall, site of our local government meetings, into a festive holiday setting.

Wendy and Gary Aichele lead a holiday singalong at the town hall party on Sunday.
Wendy and Gary Aichele lead a holiday singalong at the town hall party on Sunday. Dennis Brack | Rappahannock News

Santa Claus arrived to the delight of the children attending and each received a present, a chat with Santa and good cheer. Gary and Wendy Aichele led the singing of carols with their usual energy and extraordinary musical skills.

The party followed by one week the very successful annual Christmas parade in town which attracted nearly 1,000 attendees. Is there a better time than the Christmas holidays?

In my column last week about local shops where you can finish your Christmas shopping, I forgot to mention one of our most faithful places to shop, Rappahannock CFC Farm and Home Center. They have seed and suet for our little feathered friends, as well as a selection of bird houses and feeders, Red Wing shoes and the famous Carhartt clothing for gifts. If you want to get a jump ahead before the snow blows in, they have snow shovels, and ice melting products. Mike and his employees always greet you with a smile and are willing to help you find whatever you are looking for.

Living Nativity

Don’t forget the Rappahannock United Methodist Church’s annual Living Nativity is this Saturday (Dec. 17) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the little red shed beside the Rappahannock County Library. Free and open to all. For more information, call Judi Burke at 540-631-6103 or jnorthburke@gmail.com.

WBC services

The youth drama group at Washington Baptist Church is presenting something special this Sunday (Dec. 18) at the 11 a.m. morning worship service. There will also be a “Candlelight Service” of Lessons and Carols that evening, Dec. 18, beginning at 7 p.m., preceded by violin and piano music provided by Wendy Aichele and Angela Snyder beginning at 6:45 p.m.. There will be a “family friendly” morning worship service at 11 a.m. on Christmas morning, Sunday, Dec. 25 in the sanctuary. Both are open to the public, and all are invited to join us for worship this Christmas season.

A Thrift Shop holiday

All the Elves at the Firehouse Treasures Thrift Shop would like to wish their customers and patrons as well as all of the residents of Rappahannock County a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. According to Mary Collins, they would like to thank you all for the wonderful donations they have received throughout the year and for the continued support they have received from the community. “A special thank you to all who have helped with our new building project,” said Mary.

The shop will be closed for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays starting Saturday, Dec. 24, through Jan. 2. They will reopen Tuesday, Jan. 3. So if Santa forgot that warm, snuggly sweater or pair of sweatpants, don’t despair – the Elves will still be there! The shop is at 10 Firehouse Lane, Washington. For more information, call 540-683- 6499.

Have a great week!