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September 22nd

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Upbring Archives • Page 2 of 4 • Upbring


How To: Make a Pet Rock

We’re in the home stretch of summer vacation, and you know what that means – it’s time to cross those final items off your summer bucket list! ICYMI: We shared our own bucket list a few weeks ago, and today we’re going to show you a step-by-step of one of our favorite activities: painting pet rocks.


Painting a pet rock allows your children to spend time outside and indoors while using their imaginations. Our friends at Upbring School of Arts and Sciences helped us demonstrate how to turn an ordinary rock into a colorful, googly-eyed creature! Let’s get started!


Step One:

Head outside and find the perfect rock

Venture out into your backyard and start hunting! Your rock can be any shape or size. It can be big or small, round or square, bumpy or smooth – it’s totally up to you! Collect several rocks to maximize your collection!


Step Two:

Clean your rock

Once you find the perfect rock (or three!), head inside to the sink. Rinse your rock off with water, then add soap and scrub with a toothbrush to get it extra shiny and clean. When all the soap is gone, dry your rock off with a towel and get ready to paint!


Step Three:

Paint the rock

Now that your rock is dirt-free, it’s time for the main event! Put on a smock or an apron and fill a plate with your favorite paint colors. You can use as many or as few as you’d like. You can paint it like a rainbow or make it look like your favorite animal. Add glitter to make your pet rock sparkly or attach pipe cleaners for antennas or a tail!


Step Four:

Add googly eyes

After you’re done painting, bring your pet rock to life by adding two googly eyes on top. For extra fun, you can make your pet rock a cyclops with just one eye, or you can add as many eyes as you want!


Step Five:

The finished product

Congratulations! You just created your very own pet rock! Finish up the fun project by giving your rock a name and letting it dry on the windowsill. Use your imagination to create stories about where your pet rock came from and what kind of adventures it goes on.


Did you try this activity with your children? Share your photos and stories in the comments below. We’d love to see what you created!


Using Art to Cope with Childhood Trauma

“To be an artist is to believe in life.” – Henry Moore

While childhood is typically a time of innocence, growth and exploration, traumatic experiences such as the death of a family member, financial hardships, or domestic violence often cause significant periods of stress and anxiety for young children. It’s important to allow your child to feel these emotions, while also implementing best practices to help your child heal. One way that children cope with anxiety is through art. Art allows a child to step out of their emotional distress and focus on something new. It serves as a creative outlet for emotions your child may not know how to express verbally.

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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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The Mrs. – Inspiring Us All, One Song at a Time

“About to speak my mind. I won’t wait forever, and I won’t be last. Now I’m breaking through the ceiling made of glass. No need to ask. I’m enough, I’m enough, I’m enough, I’m enough.”- Enough by The Mrs.

When you think of the kind of champion you want in your corner as you work to break the cycle of child abuse – especially by empowering children and young women – I recommend The Mrs. They are four women using music to change the way other women see themselves: a top priority – as they inspire women to know that they are enough.

This message was performed for hundreds of Upbring’s friends who recently gathered at The Westin Austin at the Domain for the organization’s signature fundraising event, Upbring Red Ball. Since the Austin-based event supports Upbring Foster in Texas, New Life Children’s Center and BeREAL Austin, the band’s original songs served as a platform for more than just dancing the night away.

The Mrs. encouraged us to achieve our dreams in their hit Dare Me. The pop anthem Somewhere to Go reminded guests that they are never alone and they have someone to turn to when “the sky is fallin’ down.” These lyrics encouraged everyone in the room that night, so just imagine the impact on a girl living at New Life Children’s Center or in the Foster In Texas program! When I think about the positivity these artists are bringing into the world, I realize The Mrs. is made up of precisely the type of role models we hope to bring into the lives of those we serve.

Andra Liemandt founded The Mrs. after falling in love with drumming after her second daughter was born. More than just a band, The Mrs. has turned into a movement to help women see themselves in a positive light and ban negative self-talk. The band’s #IamEnough Campaign and “The Magic Mirror” recently gained national attention and sparked important conversations about the significance of self-acceptance and love.

Upbring was honored that The Mrs. chose to partner with us for Red Ball Austin.

Andra often partners with organizations in the community that are aligned with the band’s founding values. Most recently, Andra founded The Kindness Campaign on the belief that kindness is the key to changing the way children see themselves and how they relate to one another.

In an interview with Rockstar Magazine, the group offered these encouraging words to readers: “Never give up. Never let other people dictate your own story. You can absolutely achieve your dreams if you dare yourself.”

We want to thank The Mrs. for promoting their positive message and continuing to inspire us all.

About the Author

Jacie Minnick is a grant writer and member of the Upbring external relations team. Jacie recently relocated to Austin from Indiana, where she attended Hanover College (Go Panthers!). Off the clock, Jacie and her husband Jerry enjoy exploring all the things that make Austin unique, including dining at quirky restaurants, catching the latest highly acclaimed movie, and supporting the local Pug rescue mission.

Congratulations & Farewell CFO Richard Fritsche

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11

Upbring is honored to wish a warm farewell and happy retirement to our CFO, Richard ‘Rich’ Fritsche.  Rich joined Upbring in June of 2013, and has since been an asset, leader and generous member of Read More


8 Stories from the Child Welfare World You Might Have Missed

Sifting through daily news can be overwhelming and time-consuming, but in our industry it’s important. So, we gathered some of our favorite child welfare stories to make sure you don’t miss them!

From answered Christmas wishes to a record-breaking year for adoption in Louisiana, we hope these stories will encourage and inspire you.

8 Child Welfare Stories You Might Have Missed


  • Getting their kicks: Amarillo foster children pick out new shoes thanks to local donations. FULL STORY
  • Salado: Local couple buys home to help foster children. FULL STORY
  • Gov. Abbott proclaims January as Human Trafficking Prevention Month. FULL STORY
  • Upbring celebrated the new year by opening its second Christian school. Upbring School of Discovery and Leadership – Downtown Houston serves children from 6 weeks to kindergarten. FULL STORY
  • The Trailer for Simone Biles’ Lifetime Biopic Is All the Inspiration You Need Today. FULL STORY


  • A family’s adoption story in Louisiana. FULL STORY
  • Louisiana breaks adoption record for second year in a row. FULL STORY
  • Two brothers ask for a family this Christmas. FULL STORY

7 Heartwarming Foster Care Stories

When you were a child, do you remember what you wrote on your Christmas list? You probably asked for the newest toys, games and books you saw in stores and on television.

But for thousands of children, one of the greatest gifts we can give them is a safe, loving home.

Today we’re celebrating seven incredible foster care stories that remind us why we have faith in EVERY future!

  1. Samira Todd, a former child in foster care, shared her inspiring life story when she received the American Dream Scholar Award…FULL STORY
  2. A foster mom shares encouragement for other foster parents…FULL STORY
  3. A surprising concert gives hundreds of children in foster care something to smile about during the holidays…FULL STORY
  4. Senator Chuck Grassley, founder and co-chair of the Senate Caucus on Foster Youth, addresses myths about adopting teens in foster care…FULL STORY
  5. This family looks forward to celebrating the holidays with their biological, adopted, and foster children…FULL STORY
  6. A Beaumont, Texas young adult celebrates being adopted by his former teacher…FULL STORY
  7. The Heart Gallery of Texas showcases photos of 70 children in foster care available for adoption…FULL STORY

Want to give a child a safe, loving home?

Families across Texas have partnered with us to give children in foster care safe, loving homes. But 30,000 more Texas children are still waiting for families to open their homes and hearts to them.

If you want to show a child they are loved, wanted and treasured, learn more about Upbring Foster In Texas.