Charles Town Cheer Booth (above) — After many years of absence, the Cheer Booth returned for the 2021 Christmas celebrations in Charles Town. The spirit of the crowd lining the downtown streets at this year’s parade was lifted both by unseasonably warm weather and the welcome return of a sorely missed tradition.
Note from the Editor
Having a place to call home can make a big difference, as many of stories in this month’s issue suggest. The community of St. Paul Church in Kearneysville has called their church home for almost 130 years and is still going strong with new generations. For the staff and volunteers at the Jefferson County Community Ministries, they see the big differences that fixing small, but important, issues can make in keeping their clients in a home — and how keeping individuals in their homes makes a big difference for the entire community.
In Harpers Ferry, Bolivar Bread Bakery has been around for a while, but has repurposed an old space into a new home, with plans for inviting the community to share recipes and learn from each other. The artists who have been filling up the walls and shelves of the newly-opened Artist’s Confluence & Mercantile in Shepherdstown echo this desire for a place to gather in the company of others, both to learn and to share.
Learning, even for school students, can take many forms in many places. It’s certainly not a static exercise, as Jefferson County Schools’ evolving experience with virtual learning suggests. What we’ll see soon enough is whether proposals for other learning options for local students come to fruition and what effect they have on our sense of “community.”By Steve Pearson