Saturday, March 17, 2012

About Virginia Weekday Religious Education

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Weekday Religious Education (WRE) is a Christian-based, non-profit, non-denominational program in affiliation with the Virginia Weekday Religious Education Association wherein the public schools, with the parents’ written permission, release for a specified time boys and girls in certain grade levels to go to off-campus facilities for religious instruction. WRE classes are taught in nearby churches, mobile classrooms, and building adjacent or near the public school.
WRE is operated by independent self-governing local councils made up of parents, pastors, Christian laity, community leaders, and people just like you. No taxes or public funds are used. WRE receives donations from local churches, civic organizations, private individuals and businesses.
The principles of Released-Time WRE were set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Zorach Decision (1952). The decision provides the continuing legal guidelines under which WRE is conducted. WRE provides to public school children what schools, by law, cannot provide and that is the spiritual guidance which is necessary for the development of the whole child.
The Virginia Weekday Religious Education Association is a non-profit 501(c) corporation composed of representation from each independent local council, a board of directors, and a state coordinator. The association provides regular conferences and meetings to encourage and educate released-time teachers. The association also assists in creating curriculum, promoting the interest of WRE throughout the State of Virginia, and offering as a forum for local councils to come together and share their needs, prayers, and successes.
Released-time began in 1914 in Gary, Indiana, by William Wirt, a Christian layman and superintendent of Gary schools. The results of a statewide high school Bible test which had been given to 18,434 students in 213 Virginia public schools were interpreted in numerous county Sunday School conventions. In almost every convention, WRE was proposed as a remedy for spiritual illiteracy in Virginia.
The Reverend Minor C. Miller of the Virginia Council of Churches initiated Weekday Religious Education in the mid 1920s and the first classes began in the Fall of 1929. By 1947, over 40% of all released-time classes were held in public school classrooms.
 However, a legal challenge ensued and in 1952 the Zorach decision by the U. S. Supreme Court determined that released-time religious education was legal but as a result WRE Councils began moving Bible classes from public school property.
Allowable practices for schools accommodating WRE classes were set forth in Doe vs. Shenandoah in a 1990 decision that, in general, stated that school personnel may escort WRE students to and from the school property line; school personnel may make student enrollment lists available to WRE to the extent consistent with Va. Code § 22.1-287 and with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. §1232(g) (B) (5).
In 2009 the State organization, Virginia Weekday Religious Education Association, was formed.
WRE is a biblically sound Christian curriculum that uses the Bible as its primary text. WRE classes are non-denominational and open to all students. The lessons are updated frequently in order to help children see the relevancy of the Bible to everyday living.
The WRE curriculum reinforces:
- Religious instruction received at home or in a church setting;
- Academic skills such as reading, geography, and biblical history;
- Character traits associated with the Virginia Standards of Learning.
The WRE classes include activities such as:
- Singing;
- Bible lesson;
- Scripture memory work;
- Skits;
- Old and New Testament map study;
- Bible Review games.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Counties and Schools Participating in Virginia Weekday Religious Education:

Alleghany County
Please contact Bob Umstead (540.862.5965) for information or to register your child for WRE .
Boiling Springs Elementary
Callaghan Elementary
Edgemont Primary
Falling Spring Elementary
Jeter- Watson Intermediate
Mountain View Elementary
Sharon Elementary

Augusta County
Please contact JoAnne Shirley (540.943.2001) for information or to register your child for WRE.
Beverly Manor Elementary
Churchville Elementary
Craigsville Elementary
Edward G. Clymore Elementary
Guy K. Stump Elementary
Hugh K. Cassel Elementary
Ladd Elementary
North River Elementary
Riverheads Elementary
Stuarts Draft Elementary
Verona Elementary
Wilson Elementary

Botetourt County
Please contact Robert McRae (540.884.2942) for information or to register your child for WRE.
Breckinridge Elementary
Buchanan Elementary
Cloverdale Elementary
Colonial Elementary
Eagle Rock Elementary
Greenfield Elementary
Mountain View Elementary
Troutville Elementary

Frederick County
Please contact Mari Ruple (540.665.4141) for information or to register your child for WRE.
Apple Pie Ridge Elementary
Armel Elementary
Bass Hoover Elementary
Evandale Elementary
Gainsboro Elementary
Indian Hollow Elementary
Middletown Elementary
Orchard View Elementary
Redbud Run Elementary
 Senseny Road Elementary
Stonewall Elementary

Giles County
Please contact Bonita Fenstermaker (540.599.4262) for information or to register your child for WRE.
Macy Elementary
Narrows Elementary
Eastern Elementary

Highland County
Please contact Donna Gardner (540.468.2604) for information or to register your child for WRE.
Highland Elementary

Nottoway County
Please contact Jerry Cole (804.292.3953) for information or to register your child for WRE.
Blackstone Elementary
Burkeville Elementary
Crew Elementary
Kingston Forrest Elementary

Pulaski County
Please contact Connie Marshall (540.980.5229) for information or to register your child for WRE.
Critzer Elementary
Dublin Elementary
 Newbern Elementary
Pulaski Elementary
Riverlawn Elementary
Snowville Elementary

Rockbridge County
Please contact Vernon Reynolds (540.261.9225) for information or to register your child for WRE.
Effinger Elementary
Fairfield Elementary
Mountain View Elementary
Natural Bridge Elementary

Rockingham County
Please contact Virginia Brubaker (540.438.9997) for information or to register your child for WRE.
Cub Run Elementary
Elkton Elementary
Fulks Run Elementary
John C. Myers Elementary
John Wayland Elementary
Lacey Springs Elementary
Linville Edom Elementary
McGaheysville Elementary
Mountain View Elementary
Ottobine Elementary
Peak View Elementary
Plains Elementary
Pleasant Valley Elementary
River Bend Elementary
South River Elementary

Smyth County
Please contact Carrie Greer (276.646.4214) for information or to register your child for WRE at
Atkins Elementary
Marion Elementary
Please contact Marion Taylor (276.496.4084) for information or to register your child for WRE at
Rich Valley Elementary
Saltville Elementary

Staunton City
Please contact Kathy Zendt (540.886.5832) for information or to register your child for WRE.
Please contact
A.R. Ware Elementary
Bessie Weller
McSwain Elementary
Thomas Dixon Elementary

Waynesboro City
Please contact Nina Knopp (540.885.4563) for information or to register your child for WRE.
Berkeley Glenn Elementary
Wenonah Elementary
Westwood Hills Elementary
William Perry Elementary

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Directors and Staff

Board of Directors

President - Vernon Reynolds

Vice President - 
Secretary - Jeff Rawley
Corresponding Secretary - Lynda Baker-Sheffer
Treasure - Lee Taylor
Trustee - Carolyn Glaize
Trustee - Kurt Michael
Trustee - Alvin Thrasher
Executive Director - JoAnne Shirley

To register your child contact


Jo Anne Shirley, Executive Director
Phone: 540-256-2947

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Become a volunteer

 There are many ways for you to volunteer with Virginia WRE:

- walk students from the school building to the WRE classroom
- drive a bus or van to transport students to the WRE classroom
- help in the WRE classroom as “extra hands” for the teacher
- provide secretarial help for the WRE teacher
- serve as a substitute teacher
- help maintain the WRE classroom – painting, repairs, mowing, etc.
- lead a prayer group that prays for the WRE program
- help with fund raisers and special events
- serve as a member of your local WRE Council

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

To make a donation

Please send your tax deductable donation to:
Virginia Weekday Religious Education Association (VWREA)
358 Elk Mt. Rd.
Afton, VA. 22920
Be sure to indicate the school your child attends to insure your donation goes to the WRE Council serving your child’s school.