In 2015, the WSUMC congregation established the Washington Street UMC Early Education Fund, which is managed by ACT for Alexandria. This Fund is designed to offer financial grants to ensure quality early education opportunities for children of low-income families in the City of Alexandria. No organization is better suited to manage this fund than ACT for Alexandria, who, as a community foundation, has long been engaged in the work of supporting early education, who has existing relationships with non-profits and early educational centers, and who has an organizational focus on equity in Alexandria. With the oversight of ACT, the Fund may be used in a variety of ways including, but not limited to, offering scholarships to early educational centers to cover tuition costs, and providing funding to ensure childcare centers are able to hire, train, and equip high-quality educators.
In the past, the Fund has been used to provide a childcare component to a local English language program, offering English exposure to the children and providing newly immigrated families the opportunity to learn the English language and find a local community of support. The organization wrote in response to receiving the grant, “We are grateful to the Lord for giving us such an incredible opportunity to interact with people from nations all over the world. Thank you for supporting us in Kingdom work.”
The funding for the Early Education Fund is usually collected through a special offering taken at Christmas and Easter, but you can give to the Fund anytime by donating online at https://wst.church/EarlyEdFund.