LancasterThriving_WinterSpring2017 - 43

from Orange Street
supply, and when coupled with the national shortage of
qualified early childhood educators and families spending
an average of 1/3 of their household expenses on child care,
it's no surprise that children can sit on waiting lists to be
enrolled in affordable programs for months or even years, if
they get in at all.
According to the 2016 Prosperity Indicators Report, an
initiative that measures the level of prosperity we are
experiencing in Lancaster County and in what areas we
could improve, research indicates that children who cannot
read at their grade level by the time they reach third grade
are more likely than their peers to drop out of school later
in life. Readily available, quality, affordable child care opens
up more doors for pre-kindergarten and elementary school
students to succeed in school and beyond, which has farreaching effects on their future employment and overall
quality of life. In other words, since we do not have adequate
child care options for those in our community who need it
most, we are putting the future of our neighborhoods, our
businesses and our economy at great risk.
The good news is grassroots efforts are beginning to
transform this bleak picture into one of hope, opportunity
and relief.

THE MAKING OF MORNINGS ON ORANGE STREET

In 2006, former Fulton Elementary School principal Matt
Stemm approached Covenant United Methodist Church,
located across the street from the school, and asked if
they would provide before-school child care at no cost to
families who were forced to drop their children off at school
before the building opened. In October of 2007, Covenant
United Methodist Church entered into a partnership with
Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster, just half a block
away, and launched Mornings on Orange Street (MOOS).
The goal of the program is simple - provide a safe, fun
and nurturing place for students in the morning before
school. How does MOOS accomplish this goal? With a
relaxed yet engaging schedule of activities designed to
help students start their days off well. The mornings kick
off at seven o'clock with the activity of the day, which may
include journaling, arts and crafts or enjoying a special guest
speaker. The calendar also includes theme parties, fitness,
computer time, games and more. At 8:30, MOOS staff escort
the children to the school.
Thanks to the creativity and nimbleness of MOOS program

LancasterChamber.com

43


http://www.communitymennonite.org/neighborhood-engagement/moos http://www.covenant-umc.com/ http://www.covenant-umc.com/ http://www.covenant-umc.com/ http://www.communitymennonite.org http://www.communitymennonite.org/neighborhood-engagement/moos/ http://www.LancasterChamber.com

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