|KEARNEYSVILLE - Officials from the Wee Disciples Christian Academy are beyond pleased that their school family has a new facility to call home, and say they owe the community a big "thank you" for its unwavering support during the school's transition over the past year.|
"We just want to say thanks to the wonderful staff and parents who have continued to work hard and support the mission of Wee Disciples during the last 16 months," said Kathy Barker, assistant director for the school.
The school, formerly known as Wee Disciples Christian Enrichment Program, is now operating at Rock Spring Church at 114 Poor Farm Road in Kearneysville.
The nonprofit private Christian school was established more than a decade ago by four local women: Laura Scherer, Danielle Lineburg, Amy Dillow and Kathy Barker.
For 12 years, the school held its classes at Asbury United Methodist Church in Charles Town until its students and staff were displaced in January 2009 because of asbestos was discovered in classrooms in preparation for church renovations.
"We lost so much when asbestos was found but our most difficult loss was our dear friend and co-director, Amy Dillow, whose battle with cancer ended last April," said Barker. "It's been a year and a half of 'ups and downs.' So we really see this move as a new beginning for us."
From the displacement until May, Wee Disciples was housed at St. James Catholic Church.
The director of the school is Mary Diehl.
"They accommodated us for those 16 months and welcomed us so we really want to thank them as well for allowing us to be there for the time that we were," Scherer said. "We wouldn't have been able to continue class without their help."
Senior pastor at Rock Spring, Mike Lowery, said the relocation of Wee Disciples to his church facility has been a blessing.
"When we decided to start the church, we always wanted to have a lot of young people, kids and teens, involved with it," he said. "We didn't want the building to just sit here vacant when church was not in session. So when this organization approached us about having their school here, we just thought it was a wonderful idea."
By the end of the school term earlier this month, final enrollment reached 140 students.
Officials expect Wee Disciples, which is for preschool, kindergarten and first-grade children, will continue to grow.
School officials want to expand their services and are looking forward to being licensed in the fall as a child care center, Scherer said.
When school is in session, before- and after-care also is provided and currently, Wee Disciples is offering daily summer camp to kids ages 4 through 11.
"We have spots available right now in all of the programs and our registration form can be found online. Parents interested in more information can also call us or come see us at Rock Spring," Scherer said, noting that while the website, www.weedisciples.com, is currently under construction, the contact information remains the same.
The school can be reached by calling 304-707-6812.
The mission of Wee Disciples Christian Academy is to provide the young child with a Christian background in a safe, secure, loving and fun environment, to celebrate life through music, dance and art and to bring people in the community together and develop a culturally diverse group of children who value their own uniqueness and the differences in others.
- Staff writer Erienne Maczuzak can be reached at 304-263-8931, ext. 183 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Will Guthrie, at left, and Jacob Thaldorf wind down with games after a busy day at the Wee Disciples Christian Academy’s summer camp.
(Journal photos by Erienne Maczuzak)
Jenna Cline plays the game Trouble with a friend at the end of a busy day at Wee Disciples Christian Academy’s summer camp which is now in session.