Giving Tuesday

November 19th

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Education Archives • Page 2 of 2 • Upbring


Five Ways to Support a Recent Graduate

Recent graduates are entering an exciting time in their lives. Graduation and the months after open doors to so many new opportunities. Some graduates head off to college, some go to trade school and some enter the workforce.

At Upbring, we’re so proud of all the young adults in our programs who have graduated. Whether they attend high school while in our Foster In Texas Program or attend one of our Trinity Charter Schools through our RTCs, they are given support by staff, mentors and peers that, when ready, allows them to leave our program prepared to take on the task of independent living.

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32 Fun Summer Activities For Kids

Summertime is finally here. The days are longer, the temperature is higher and children are out of school. Summer break provides the perfect opportunity to create lifelong memories with your children that will keep them smiling through the fall and winter months. Here are 32 fun ways you can spend time with your children this summer.

1. Visit your local farmers’ market

Support local farmers by buying fresh fruits and vegetables or homemade treats. For added fun: Buy ingredients to make a homemade meal or a healthy dessert or buy fresh flowers to create a beautiful floral arrangement for your home or to gift to a friend.

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Chapel Chickens for El Salvador

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

Each week at Chapel our students are encouraged to bring a donation of coins and small bills that will contribute to a surprising purpose – CHICKENS! We believe that all we have comes from a gracious, providing Father, and we return a portion of these gifts to His kingdom to practice generosity. It’s also a reminder to look outside ourselves and focus on the needs in our community.

At Upbring School in Central Austin, 100% of our donations are going to Lutheran World Relief, a nonprofit organization that helps families in the world’s poorest countries build the resilience they need to thrive. Each gift donated at chapel goes to the LWR “critters” program, and every dollar goes toward the cost of providing chicks and hens, as well as training and support services. The children love counting the hens each week on the map, and for a woman in El Salvador or Indonesia, a farm hen and chick provide more than just a one-time handout, but offer hope and a brighter future as they have eggs to eat, eggs to sell and chicks to grow into a flock to continue the cycle and provide for their families.

The donations of our students empower women and give gifts that keep on giving: independence, sustainability and success.

Each time we collect $40, we have helped provide another family with hens and chicks. Together we have raised enough for 6 groups of chickens and hens to help 6 women serve their families!

Consider making a donation to USAS to help the children reach their goal of helping 10 families. We will continue collecting until August 10, 2018, and you can donate by visiting and choose “Upbring School of Arts and Sciences” from the designation options.

“Look! I am making all things new!” Revelation 21:5

Our Story

The following feedback was shared by parents during spring 2018 at Upbring School of Arts and Science. Our story is an amalgamation of their stories. Our families are why we do what we do.

Sarah’s story

We found out about Upbring School of Arts and Science (USAS) through our neighborhood Listerv from a parent whose children attend the school. She raved about the teachers and the close attention that was paid to the children. Our son had already been in one preschool, but we did not feel he was being challenged enough. USAS teachers pay a lot of attention to detail and are in contact with the parents on a daily basis on how the child did that day and what they learned. The communication is amazing and helps us reinforce what he learns at school.

Our favorite things about USAS are the STEM curriculum from Rice University, the communication with parents on what the child is learning each day, and the one-on-one attention the children receive. Since starting at USAS, our son has had a lot of learning by doing and is very excited about what he learns at school. Every day when I ask my son how his day was, he answers, “It was amazing” and then goes on to tell me all the things he did that day.

Sarah (parenting a 12-month-old student and 4-year-old student)

Caroline’s story 

We were scrambling for daycare when our previous provider closed abruptly. With such long wait lists in Central Austin, we struggled to find a school that could enroll us in time, much less be a good fit for our family. That’s when we discovered that Upbring was about to open a classroom for our daughter’s age group. Touring and meeting with the staff gave us an immediate sense of relief. The classrooms, the playground and the gymnasium were so spacious and inviting. We knew that not only had we found a solution, we’d found a home.

Caroline (parenting an 18-month-old student)

Shelli’s story

Through recommendations on a neighborhood Facebook group, we came to know of Upbring School of Arts and Science (USAS). It was very important for us to find the right school for our child. We first noticed how friendly everyone was and the low teacher-to-child ratios. We enjoy the friendliness of the community and the daily communication from the teaching staff. They are very conscious about sharing information about transitions and changes that occur.

Our daughter is rather shy, but she warmed up to Ms. Lindsey right away! After just a few short weeks, she was already speaking up in class and playing and talking with her peers! Just the other day, after picking up our daughter from school, she informed me that I am her mama at home, but her teacher, Ms. Lindsey, is her mama at school. 🙂

Shelli (parenting a 3-year-old student)

Angie’s story

It is time for a moment of honesty. Because we are not in a rush to find a day school for our son, we have taken school/care center visits seriously. We’ve visited five other area locations and considered a nanny-share. We have walked away and been okay with our son being at those schools/care centers, but we’ve not been to a place where everything clicked – until today. When we walked out of your door, following the tour, we were like, “This is The One!!!” We love Upbring School of Arts and Science. You all are amazing. So friendly. So questioning. So loving. So growth- focused. We are incredibly excited to be part of the Upbring community.

Angie (parenting an 2-year-old)

Nadia’s story

Every day on my drive to work, I pass Upbring School of Arts and Science (USAS). Our son started attending when the school was Saint Paul. Finding the right school has helped Greyson learn many things he would not have learned in other schools. At USAS, he has learned many science facts like which animals migrate and hibernate. The small class size gives him a lot of attention from Ms. Leigh, as well as close connections to his peers.

Other things we like are the weekly chapel services, the safe and the controlled environment, including key entry. We also appreciate the communication from the staff and my son’s teacher, like the text messages that let me know what he learned that day so I can talk to him about it after school.

We have noticed positive results of our son’s attendance. He has shown calmer, more focused behavior at home, which is better for us all.

Nadia (parent of 5-year-old)


Beautiful, Strong & Worthy: Ashley’s Success Story

So many of the children Upbring serves come into our care feeling unloved and unworthy of a brighter future. They are children like Ashley*.

Just 11 years old, her young life had been filled with so much hardship and horrific abuse she was virtually paralyzed with trauma. Every grown up she knew had hurt her. She was terrified to try anything new for fear of being beaten if she failed.

When she arrived at Upbring New Life Children’s Center, this brave girl genuinely believed her life was worth a pack of cigarettes and a six pack of beer. Why? Because that’s how much her father traded her for. Read More


5 Tips For A Smooth Start To The School Year

As a child, I wasn’t thrilled when the end of summer vacation ushered in earlier bedtimes, earlier wake-up times and, of course, homework.

I also remember experiencing a bit of anxiety over who my teachers would be and whether I would know anyone in my classes.

But a new school year also meant the chance to catch up with friends and do one of my favorite things: buy new school supplies, which I enjoyed doing with my own children when they were in school.

Your child might have the same mixed feelings about the start of the school year. You can help ease their transition by following these five simple tips.

  1. Get excited! You are your child’s most important teacher. If you’re not excited about school, they probably won’t be either. Share fun memories from your teachers and classmates. Talk about a ritual your family had. Perhaps you can share this tradition or start a new one.
  2. Ease their nerves. It is completely normal for your child to have jumbled-up emotions about going back to school. You can ease their nerves by arranging a visit to the school. Show them their new classroom, and let them meet their teacher. Allow the two of them to chat for 15 minutes and get to know each other, with limited participation from you.
  3. Go shopping together. Allow your child to choose some school supplies on their own. A Disney backpack or a superhero lunch box can go a long way toward making them feel comfortable and confident.
  4. Establish a routine. Inclement weather. Traffic jams. A solid routine is your best defense against the headaches that come with running behind. Figure out what time everyone needs to get up, eat breakfast, brush their teeth and get dressed. Identify the most efficient route to school, and consider alternate routes in case you need them.
  5. Make the first morning memorable. If you’ve followed the first four tips, you can rest easy knowing your child is prepared to start the school year. All that’s left now is to make that first morning memorable. Have breakfast together. Chat. Smile. And if this is your child’s first year in school, it’s okay to cry. Just save the tears until you get back in your car!

About The Author

brenda burdickBrenda Burdick has 33 years’ education experience. She spent 15 years molding young minds as a teacher for grades one through eight and as a lead English teacher in middle school. She also brings 22 years’ administrative experience as an assistant principal, principal, director of curriculum and director of admissions. Brenda joined Upbring this summer as director of Christian school expansion and ops. She is excited to welcome students to our first Christian school, Upbring School of Arts and Sciences Central Austin, for the fall 2017 semester.


10 Things the 85th Texas Legislature Got Right, Plus All the Rest from A to Z

The 85th Texas Legislature was one for the history books when it comes to child welfare.  From the unprecedented investment of an additional $508 million in the child protection system to the authorization of expanded community-based care and numerous other key decisions in between, Texas took major strides toward achieving the rallying cry of “Let’s Get It Right” that was adopted by legislative members and advocates alike.

In 2015, Governor Abbott declared at his inauguration, “Our children transcend politics.”  This year, the governor made the child protection system the first of his emergency items for consideration, and the Legislature – already having committed to giving this subject high-priority treatment – responded in many meaningful ways.  Upbring was pleased to support 64 different bills from 40 different legislative authors, including several of the session’s highest priority bills. Read More