Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Over 1,000 witness Weekday Religious Education graduation

Another successful year with the Staunton-Beverley Manor Weekday Religious Educaton (WRE) program concluded Tuesday night with a ceremony for children in grades K-4.

With more than 1,000 spectators that included parents, grandparents, siblings, neighbors, friends, and community members, there was musical entertainment and testimonies and gratitude expressed to all staff involved in this extracurricular activity.

Fifty students received leather-bound Bibles, presented by WRE President John Hart, as a symbol of their graduation. Pictures were taken and the ceremony ended with all praying the Lord's Prayer. Other WRE board members attended including Staunton Councilwoman Andrea Oakes whose son was one of the graduates.

WRE, under attack in 2005 when the Staunton School Board threatened to discontinue it, was saved when the late Jack Hinton, then WRE president, along with WRE State Board trustee  Kurt Michael who was Augusta County Republican Committee chairman at the time, and an organization of churches helped turn out over 500 members of the community who attended a February 9, 2005, school board meeting to show support for the program. Attorney Gil Davis took the case pro bono and religious freedom was saved in the Central Shenandoah Valley.

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