WELLSBURG - Several causes benefited from activities held at St. John the Evangelist Early Education Center in observance of Catholic Schools Week.
Children at the school, which serves pre-schoolers and kindergarteners, and their parents responded to a call to assist a different charity each day of the week, which ran from Jan. 31 to Feb. 4.
On Tuesday canned goods and personal hygiene items were collected for the Holy Family Catholic Mission food pantry, and children made Valentines Day cards for shut-ins and volunteers.
MAKING?DOG?BISCUITS — From left, Mason Vojvodich, Madison Long, Lacie Hamlin and Kirsten Lallone, all pupils at St. John the Evangelist Early Childhood Center, made dog biscuits for animals at the Brooke County Animal Shelter using peanut butter, milk and oatmeal. The school also collected many supplies for the shelter, one of several causes it aided during Catholic Schools Week. - Contributed
On Wednesday the children made special cards for their parents. On Thursday, they brought in food and made dog biscuits using peanut butter, milk and oats for the Brooke County Animal Shelter.
On Friday the school collected personal hygiene products, school supplies and other items for children assisted by A Child's Place Court-Appointed Special Advocate, a program that represents the interests of children involved in abuse and neglect cases in Brooke and Hancock counties.
Because the group aims to ensure each child has a safe home, children at St. John's will be making birdhouses with milk cartons and pretzels.
The children's parents were invited to make donations to Autism Speaks through the organization's website at www.autispeaks.org. on Monday and to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital at www.stjude.org on Thursday.
Each day a staff member painted on the children's faces or hands a symbol representing the charity for that day.
Cindy McDaniel, the school's administrator, said there currently are 32 children enrolled at the center, with space for more.
Though the former St. John School dropped grades 1-4 due to declining enrollment last year, many things have remained the same.
The school's staff are certified by the West Virginia Department of Education, and the children receive meals through the Brooke County Schools nutrition department.
Operated by the Wheeling-Charleston Catholic Diocese of the Catholic Church, it offers a Christian-based education but children need not be members of the Catholic Church to enroll.
McDaniel said staff draw upon the Saxon Phonics Early Learners and Kids Parks programs to teach children about letters, numbers, consonant and vowel sounds and social skills.
She said the children have been learning Spanish twice a week from Katie Heinlein, a substitute teacher at the school; and participating in recreational activities with the help of visiting physical education majors from Bethany College under the direction of Professor Wally Neel.
McDaniel the early education center and its after-school program, which is offered from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., serve children from various parts of the Tri-State Area because their parents work locally or the school is enroute to their workplaces.
Those interested in learning more about the early education center or after-school program may call (304) 737-0511.
(Scott can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)