from the magazine

Mia Iverson, an eighth-grader at Maumelle Middle School, embodies all of the characteristics that the Girl Scouts organization is founded upon: leadership, sisterhood, healthy lifestyles and community service.

Recently, she won the nationally recognized Girl Scouts Silver Award for an awareness project that focused on obesity and sports nutrition. The “Take Action Research Project” consisted of research on childhood obesity and athletics. Iverson developed educational facts and materials about nutrition and health, which she presented via three 45-minute sessions to middle school students. She also asked them to take a pledge to be healthy.

“I wanted to teach people about the importance of a good meal when they are involved in sports,” Iverson said. “I was familiar with bad eating habits myself. I have become more aware of what I am eating and now know how important it is for everyone.”

The Silver Award, awarded to sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders, is one of three prestigious honors that Girl Scouts may earn. Other awards are the Bronze, awarded to fourth- and fifth-graders, and Gold, awarded to high school students.

Iverson is also involved with Family, Career and Community Leaders of America through her school, and submitted her research project on obesity and sports nutrition to two FCCLA state competitions. She received a bronze medal for third place during Maumelle Middle’s district level FCCLA competition and a silver plaque for second place at the state-level competition in Dardanelle.

“She has accomplished a lot,” Mia’s mother Tonya Iverson said. “She chose the topic on her own because she had a personal connection to childhood obesity. Since it was a personal topic, she really put her best work into the project. She has learned a great plethora of leadership skills through both Girl Scouts and FCCLA.”

Mia Iverson also enjoys volunteer work. She has participated in local food drives, collected socks and other personal care items for those in need, assisted staff at local nursing homes and donated snacks and clothes to Our House, an organization that provides working homeless families with housing, job training, child care and education.

Additionally, Iverson loves to play basketball and enjoys dancing. Both of these hobbies are the backbone of her sports nutrition project and partially the reason she chose the topic. She also plays the clarinet in the school band and enjoys cooking.

Iverson has learned at a young age that hard work and preparation pay off in the long run.

“I feel like I worked really hard and my project paid off,” Iverson said. “I plan to stay involved with Girl Scouts until my senior year of high school. I love being around the younger girls and being a role model to them. I also like getting to hang out with the older girls also.”

Iverson hopes to be a police officer one day. She also plans to continue educating others about healthy eating and sports nutrition. Regardless of the career path she chooses, she will undoubtedly help others along the way.

“Making” your own paper is a great way to recycle some of your crafting supply leftovers into a cool summer project. You can use just about any kind of paper scraps to make new sheets of paper that are unique to your own imagination. You can add things to your paper so that they aren’t just white or a single color.

Here are some things to consider before beginning the project:

Most newspaper will result in a very gray paper and look a bit dull.

  • Papers that are shiny and slick don’t work as well as more natural fiber papers.
  • If you intend to write on your paper, avoid adding things like foil or plastic to the pulp. You can add those things to just one side of your paper leaving the opposite side in good shape for writing on.
  • Be sure that if you are working on a surface that might be damaged by water you put down a towel or board to work on.

Paper-making supplies. Photo by Patrick Jones

Paper-making supplies. Photo by Patrick Jones

What you need:

  • A blender
  • Paper scraps
  • A clean kitchen towel
  • A large baking dish or basin
  • An old picture frame
  • Some aluminum window screen trimmed to fit the frame (several screens stacked in the frame tend to work better)
  • Paper towels

Instructions:

  1. If your scraps are large, tear them into pieces no bigger than a nickel or quarter at the largest.
  2. Fill the blender 1/3 full of paper and then add water to almost fill. Leave a little air at the top so the water can spin freely.
  3. Blend the paper and water until you can’t see any more big pieces.
  4. Place the frame face down in the dish or basin. Insert the screens into the frame.
  5. Pour the water/pulp mixture into the frame, so that the pulp is an even thickness in the frame. While the frame is still in the dish (and partially submerged in the water), gently spread the pulp around to fill in thin spots.
  6. Gently lift the frame out of the water and tilt at a slight angle to allow water to run out of the pulp.
  7. Lift the screens out of the frame and place the screen with the pulp still attached onto the dish towel (screen side touching the towel).
  8. Take several folded paper towels and place them on top of the pulp. With the palm of your hand, press down on the towels to wring out the water from the pulp.
  9. When most of the water is pressed out, gently peel the pulp from the screen. If you don’t want the impression of the screen in your paper, place the paper on the dish towel and press again.
  10. Place the paper on a baking rack or a dry dish towel to dry.
Step 2. Photo by Patrick Jones.

Step 2. Photo by Patrick Jones.

DSC_0646

Step 5. Photo by Patrick Jones.

Tips to Make Your Paper Greater

  • Add spices like dried parsley or sprinkle on paprika for color and texture.
  • Add a few drops of cinnamon or peppermint oil for a cool smell.
  • Trim shapes or initials out of tissue paper and press into the paper while it’s still wet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three young sisters from Little Rock are tripling their impact as they give back through Arkansas Children’s Hospital in more ways than one.

Elizabeth, Rami and Catherine Rapp are 10-year-old triplets that love to volunteer for a place that is close to their hearts. ACH is their family’s medical facility of choice, and where all of the girls have been treated for all kinds of accidents, including busted lips, allergic reactions and even a concussion. So, the Rapp sisters and their family want to say “thank you” by giving back.

“We participate in Change Angels and the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Miracle Chasers Kids Triathlon fundraiser,” Rami Rapp said. “We are athletic and we like helping ACH.”

The Rapp sisters, all active in soccer, tennis, gymnastics and basketball, like to encourage their friends and family to stay active while giving back as well.

“We have gotten our friends to participate in triathlons with us,” Elizabeth Rapp said. “We like to have our babysitter train with us too. We also got our school to help us raise $200 for Change Angels by collecting donations.”

The Miracle Chasers triathlon fundraiser is for youngsters ages 6-15, and involves a run, bike ride and swim. This year’s event is July 26 at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

The Rapp sisters plan to continue giving back throughout their lives, including the career paths they hope to pursue. They plan to become doctors, and are also considering professional soccer players as an alternative.

Their mother, Lisa Rapp, is proud to see her daughters giving back and helping others.

“It feels so great to see them helping out so much in our community,” she said.

“With them being triplets we had to have a lot of help when they were born and it feels good to now return the help in other aspects of life, like at ACH.”

The Miracle Chasers kids triathlon, a fundraiser for Arkansas Children’s Hospital, is July 26 at 8 a.m. at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Following the triathlon, there will be food and other festivities. Registration is $20 and includes a prize bag, medal and T-shirt. Prior to registering, participants must be a USA Triatholn member. Register at www.us. To donate to the Rapps’ team, visit archildrens.kintera.org.

Photo: Rami, Catherine and Elizabeth Rapp. Photo by Callie France Sterling.

 

For the past several years, 13-year-old Braeden Itzkowitz has volunteered with Autism Speaks in honor of his younger brother, Bryce, who has the disorder.

During his time as a volunteer, Itzkowitz has participated in numerous charity walks, 5Ks and fundraisers.

“I volunteer of course because of Bryce,” he said. “I like to help my brother while raising money for a good cause. It is somewhat hard to have a sibling with autism, but it is really nice to help out other families who are working to help out the cause. The walks we participate in help families realize that we are not alone.”

In past races, Itzkowitz has been a timekeeper, assisted with registration and supervised craft activities with children in the designated kid zone area. He has also worked to recruit friends to get involved with Autism Speaks.

Itzkowitz has further expanded his influence by reaching out to students and faculty at Joe T. Robinson Middle School, where he and his brother are students. His school now hosts a fundraising event for autism awareness. Students who participate by contributing a small donation are allowed to forgo their uniforms for the entire school day. Everyone who participates wears a blue shirt to show his or her support. Blue is the national color that represents autism.

“There is a ‘Blue Out’ event that my school is now involved in,” Itzkowitz said. “You can buy a tag to participate and the students get to wear non-uniform clothes. The proceeds are donated to Autism Speaks to raise awareness.”

Itzkowitz is also a volunteer at A-Camp in Little Rock. A-Camp is held at Camp Aldersgate and is designed for children in grades K-5, both with and without special needs. The camp covers a variety of activities including music, art, water activities, fitness and more.

“I like to volunteer for as many weeks as possible at A-Camp,” Itzkowitz said. “My brother attends A-Camp and I get to help with activities.”

Dawn Itzkowitz, Braeden’s mom and the Arkansas Walk Now for Autism Speaks chair, said she is proud that her son takes the time to help others.

“Braeden’s involvement with Autism Speaks and A-Camp makes me really proud that he cares so much about his brother and the cause,” she said.

“I know I felt so alone the day Bryce was diagnosed but these walk events have helped me realize that our family is not alone. The best part is that Braeden truly wants to give back to the community and doesn’t volunteer because he has to.”

The fifth annual Arkansas Walk Now for Autism Speaks and the second annual 5K race will be held Oct. 18 at the Clinton Presidential Center. Register online at www.walknowforautismspeaks.org.

As of this writing, Mother’s Day is a few weeks away. I like to think I’ve always shown the proper level of gratitude to my mom, though I’m sure she can recall some occasions when she felt that she was something less than fully appreciated. But lately, raising my own kids, I’ve begun to feel a much deeper level of thankfulness, both for her and for my mother-in-law, for my late grandmother and my wife’s grandmother, and really for all the moms who pick up laundry and forgotten toys, who clean up messes and wipe noses (and other, uh, areas), who cook and clean and kiss boo-boos and tolerate all kinds of indignities large and small in the day-to-day grind that is raising young’uns.

I’d always understood that as the reason why there was a special day for moms, but I’ve got a much realer idea of what this whole parenting thing is actually like now.

But as much as we as a culture like to think we exalt moms, how we pay them lip service this one day a year, maybe bring them breakfast in bed or take them out to brunch or give them a gift certificate for a spa package, we sure do tend to judge them pretty harshly the rest of the time.

A few weeks ago, I took my son to the playground on an unseasonably warm Sunday afternoon. He was a blur, orbiting the jungle gym, with occasional jaunts up the stairs and down the slide. An older kid, maybe 5, started running around with us. “Watch this!” he cried out before going down the slide head-first. He kinda glommed onto our playtime, which was fine. But he was obviously desperate for some attention, which his visibly annoyed young mother seemed unable to give to him, absorbed as she was in whatever was happening on her smartphone.

“Can I play with you guys?” he asked.

“You leave them alone,” she scolded him from behind her gigantic sunglasses.

God, my heart broke.

“No, it’s OK,” I said. “He can play with us.”

“Yay!” he yelled. “Hey, hey, watch me go down the slide again!”

We all played together for another 15 minutes or so before it was time for us to move on. And for a while after that, I harbored quite a bit of contempt for this woman who couldn’t even be bothered to play with her own son at the playground, who wouldn’t even really acknowledge his existence. What a horrible mother, right?

But what did I know about her life aside from that one small slice of one afternoon? Maybe she’d been playing with him all morning long and was exhausted because she’d also been up late the night before with her three-month-old. Maybe she was a single mom who didn’t have any help and just wanted a minute to herself to look at Facebook after a long week working and raising a kid. Maybe she really was a terrible, lazy mom who didn’t give her child enough attention. Maybe she wasn’t even the kid’s mom at all. Who knows? Not me.

Yet I’d sure enough jumped straight to that conclusion. Why?

I don’t know. Perhaps it’s that many of us expect our own moms to be superhuman, to give and give and keep on going. And when something happens to remind us that they are, in fact, just human beings like the rest of us, we react as if it were some kind of major failing when we really should know that they get tired and impatient and bored and angry just like all the other non-moms out there who don’t face such expectations and judgment. And we should still appreciate them just as much, all year long and not just on one day.

Garran Ellis Cooper Oates, a 14-year-old from Maumelle, began volunteering at the age of 7 and has been volunteering in full force ever since.

“I like volunteering at the women and children’s shelter in Little Rock,” Oates said. “I also have been involved in projects with the American Cancer Society. I have made mastectomy pillows with my younger brother.”

Oates decided that making mastectomy pillows would be a great way to honor the memory of a family friend, Cheryl Starry, who passed away from breast cancer. He has also been involved in making surgical drain aprons for breast cancer patients in the short stay unit at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Oates is a humble teen and prefers to remain behind the scenes when volunteering at Women and Children First and the other organizations he’s committed to.

“The shelter always needs help with sorting donations like clothes and toys,” he said. “I help tidy the closets and office spaces.”

He has many memories from his time spent volunteering at the Women and Children First shelter, and said his favorite time to volunteer is at Christmas.

“My favorite volunteering experience at the shelter was organizing the Christmas presents before their party and delivering a bicycle,” Oates said. “I enjoy helping. I feel useful, although my part is only small. I think volunteering may save the counselors time, and they can focus more on supporting the families at the shelter.”

Oates has also periodically volunteered through Samaritan’s Purse, which hosts Operation Christmas Child.

“Operation Christmas Child is a project where you fill a shoe box with gifts, combs, soaps, candy and more,” Oates said. “Then they are shipped to third world countries for Christmas.”

In addition to Women and Children First, Samaritan’s Purse and the American Cancer Society, Oates is currently collecting quarters for a mission trip to Peru.

Outside of volunteering, he enjoys riding his bike, playing bass clarinet, playing video games and digging for crystals in Hot Springs.

Oates, who has dual American and British citizenship because his mother is from the U.K., wants to travel when he gets older. He also wants to continue to serve others.

“I’d like to travel back to Europe one day,” Oates said. “I went to Greece and enjoyed the culture and ancient buildings. I’d like to see more of the world. I will continue helping other people because I think it’s important to let others know that someone cares.”

Tina Camlin, Oates’ mother, is teaching her three sons that giving back is one of the most important aspects in life. Camlin, a nurse, gives back every day.

“I believe a servant’s heart is a beautiful quality and one that I long to nurture in my children,” Camlin said. “I have been a nurse for 26 years, and I believe teaching them empathy towards others is essential. I also believe that life’s most urgent question we ought to ask ourselves is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ which was said by Martin Luther King Jr.”

Oates believes that regardless of how small a nice gesture may be, it is always a good thing.

“If I can help a little, hopefully it is a good thing,” Oates said.

For more information about Women and Children First, visit www.wcfarkansas.org or call 501-376-3219 or 1-800-332-4443.

What do award-winning authors and illustrators, Legos, treasure hunts, robotics and 3-D printing have in common? They are all themes of sessions for children and teens at the 2014 Arkansas Literary Festival.

The Arkansas Literary Festival is a program of the Central Arkansas Library System. This year’s event includes more than 80 presenters, as well as special presentations, workshops and other programs for people of all ages.

While the entire festival is April 24-27, most of the youth events are Saturday, April 26, at the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center and CALS’ Main Library in downtown Little Rock.

Below is an overview of children and teen’s events at the festival, arranged by location. All events are free and open to the public. For more information and a detailed schedule of all that the festival has to offer, visit www.arkansasliteraryfestival.org.

Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center

All day – Arkansas Arts Center Art Mobile. “The Art of Story” features selected artwork from the Arkansas Arts Center that creates narratives through interpreted history.

CT on Tour - The Engine That Thought It Could

10 a.m. – “The Engine That Thought It Could.” In case you missed this production at the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre at the end of last year, here’s your chance to see it. Based on the classic tale, in this adaptation, the Little Engine learns that, when faced with adversity, hard work pays off.

11 a.m. – Treasure Hunt. Listen to six children’s authors discuss their books and get clues to win prizes. The authors (and their books) are Lou Berger, Dream Dog; Gerry Gaston, Quest for the Pirate’s Treasure; Darcy Pattison, Abayomi, The Brazilian Puma; Philip and Vanessa Rouse, Crazy Town Upside Down; and Jennifer Sattler, Pig Kahuna Pirates. Pirate-themed refreshments will be served.

1 p.m. – Conversing with Kadir. Hear Kadir Nelson, award-winning children’s author and illustrator, talk about his books, his art and more.

2 p.m. – Activity Hour. Activities include a petting zoo, a story walk on the library’s trails, planting seeds in the greenhouse, pirate-themed crafts and snacks.

3 p.m. – Puppet Show. Interact with the Wolfe at the Door Puppets and learn about the treasures of reading.

Main Library – Third Floor, Youth Services

All Day – Legos Exhibit. This Lego display, provided by the Arkansas Lego Users Group (ARKLUG), spans more than 75 square feet. Kids can also construct their own creations.

10 a.m. – Bard’s Birthday Party with Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre. Kids, ages 6-12, will celebrate William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday with games, activities and refreshments.

2 p.m. – Monochromatic Build. Kids can work with thousands of Legos of a single color. This activity helps foster group creativity.

Jerusalem Greer

Jerusalem Jackson Greer

4 p.m. – Sense Memory with Jerusalem Jackson Greer. This is a great session for budding writers. Author Jerusalem Jackson Greer will lead an exploration of using sense memory to enhance an author’s work. The session includes samples of cookies and ice cream from Sweet Love Bakes.

Main Library – Level 4 Teen Center

All Day – 3-D Printing. This ongoing demonstration lets visitors learn about the capabilities of 3-D printing. Two printers will be on hand for the demonstration.

11 a.m. – Memory Project Mapping the Road to Change: Insights on Perception Prejudice, and Acceptance. Student editors from Little Rock Central High School share recurring themes on race and other “isms” found in family interviews on civil rights. The students will demonstrate using a “reading circle” to compare and contrast viewpoints and interpret meaning in oral history.

1 p.m. – Comic Conventions. Learn about the upcoming CALS-Con and River City Comic Expo.

3 p.m. – Intro to Robotic Building. This session is an introduction to small-scale robotics and control mechanisms.

Main Library – Fifth Floor, Lee Room

4 p.m. – Poetry Competition. Finalists from each CALS library branch will compete for the grand prize.

Delaney Robertson is a 15-year-old teen from Little Rock that enjoys lifting the spirits of individuals with special needs.

“Every minute is rewarding,” said Robertson, who is a volunteer for the Angels Pageant System, a pageant for individuals with special needs.

“These kids don’t get to feel like they’re incredibly special very often, but when the entire audience starts clapping for them, they get an awesome look on their face. To be beside them while they feel like that is very rewarding.”

Robertson has a history of competing in pageants and won two titles when she was younger. Because of her passion for pageants and love for community service, the Angels Pageant System seemed like the perfect way for her to give back. She often dresses up in her vintage pageant attire and crowns the winner of the Central Arkansas Angels Pageant.

Robertson has been volunteering with the pageant for three years.

Organically, the program, called Arkansas Angels Pageant System, was exclusive to the state. Since Robertson has been involved, it has expanded into 20 states and is now called the Angels Pageant System.

When Robertson got involved, there were about 80 participants. This year there are more than 200 in central Arkansas alone.

The pageant was created in 2010 by the mother of a young girl, Andrea Thorn, who had cerebral palsy. Thorn wanted to participate in pageants, just like her identical twin sister, so their mother created the pageant for individuals with special needs. Thorn passed away when she was 15.
Today, Robertson and the other pageant volunteers have created the “Pay it Forward” campaign in Thorn’s honor to raise awareness about the pageants.

“Anyone from age zero to 99 is able to participate,” Robertson said. “The oldest participant I have met was a little over 70 years old.”

In addition to volunteering with the pageant, Robertson volunteers at Camp Aldersgate and iCAN! Dance.

Robertson helps out with activities and games at Camp Aldersgate’s camps, including weekends during the school year and the weeklong summer camps. She said she enjoys making sure the campers have a good time.
“They get a week that is just about them, and they get to be around kids in society that have the same problems they do,” Robertson said. “They are all the same in one another’s eyes. They get to do things at Camp Aldersgate that ‘quote (unquote)’ normal kids get to do. A lot of times in their life, their disease can define them, but they don’t even have to mention that they have anything different about them when they’re at camp.”

Robertson enjoys giving back to others but has also gained a lot from her volunteerism.

“It lifts me up a lot too,” she said. “I can be in a bad mood and I come back home from camp, and I am not the same person when I come home.”

Robertson also devotes two days a week to iCAN! Dance, a statewide dance program dedicated to children with special needs.

“My dance buddy is Madison, and she has cerebral palsy,” she said. “Madison is one of my favorite people in the entire world. Being her dance buddy is very rewarding and we have fun.”

Robertson would like to continue helping others in the future by becoming an occupational therapist when she gets older.

“I job shadowed an occupational therapist last spring and I loved it; I didn’t want to leave. It would be great to just help others as a job each day,” she said.

Robertson’s mother, Aimee Robertson, is very proud of her daughter’s passion for volunteering.

“I love to see that helping others is what makes my daughter happy,” she said. “There is nothing that makes me more proud as a mom. This is what life is all about. She is smart and beautiful, but best of all, she has a heart of gold.”

The 2014 Central Arkansas Angels Pageant is June 14 at Geyer Springs First Baptist Church. For more details about the pageant system, visit www.angelspageantsystem.com, call 501-412-3994 or e-mail arkansasangelspageant@nullgmail.com.

Deck out the whole house in green this St. Patrick’s Day by making your own decorations. A shamrock garland is easy to make and can be customized with different kinds of paper and ribbon. This craft has several steps with varying difficulty, so it’s fun for leprechauns of all ages.

What You Need

  • Strips of green colored or printed paper (cardstock, construction paper, craft paper, etc.)
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Single hole punch
  • Thumb tacks or tape for hanging

Directions

1. Cut paper into strips about 1.5 inches wide.

Step 1
Step 1

 

2. Fold strips in half, and then curl the sides in to make a heart. Staple to secure. You will need four hearts to make one shamrock. Continue making hearts until you have enough to make five shamrocks (about 20 hearts).

Step 2

Step 2

3. Place the four hearts with the points together on a surface. Place another strip of paper in between the bottom two hearts to make the stem and staple.

Step 3

Step 3

Staple the other hearts together on all sides. Continue until all shamrocks are made. Mix and match paper patterns to create a more rustic look. Trim the stems to your liking.

4. On a flat surface, arrange the shamrocks in the order you want them on the garland.

5. Punch holes along the tops of the shamrocks. Thread ribbon through the holes to string up the shamrocks. Note: You may need to punch several holes together to make a bigger space for the ribbon.

The St. Patrick’s Day garland is ready to hang and enjoy!

This craft has been adapted from the “Easy St. Patrick’s Day Banner” tutorial posted at The Crafting Chicks (www.thecraftingchicks.com). It was re-created for Savvy Kids by Patrick Jones and Erica Sweeney.

Carissa Lynne Garner is a 10-year-old who is driven to help others who are less fortunate.

“Since I was little I have always been wheel-chaired,” said Garner, who was born with spina bifida.

“When I was born, they didn’t think I would be able to walk or talk. I want to be able to help people that don’t have homes and that can’t afford things like food and cars and who don’t have much money.”

Garner of Lonoke has a passion for volunteering for the Salvation Army. Her mom, Pamela Garner, remembers Carissa asking for money to give the Salvation Army every holiday season, even when she was very young. When she was 8, she began ringing the bell for the Salvation Army during the holidays.

“Every year at Wal-Mart they ring the bell for Christmas,” Carissa Garner said. “I always asked my mom for money to put in the bucket, then I told my mom a few years ago that I wanted to start ringing the bell. My mom called the Salvation Army and checked on it. They said I could, so she made it happen.”

Garner rings the bell an average of five times a year and plans to continue for many years to come. She hopes to expand her philanthropic work by feeding those in need through the Salvation Army.

In addition to volunteering with the Salvation Army, Garner created a nonprofit organization, called Carissa Lynne’s Special Blessings Ministry.

The organization was designed to help anyone with special needs who cannot afford assistive devices and additional assistive services. “Carissa Lynne’s Special Blessings Ministry is changing hearts one smile at a time by providing various assistive devices, services and service dogs to persons, especially children, with special needs regardless of their individual physical abilities,” the organization’s website states.

“I got my service dog, ZoZo, this past fall and I have wanted one since I was three,” Garner said. “Service dogs cost a lot of money. My mom said to keep waiting and when it was the right time God would provide one, and he did. Now I want to help kids like me get a service dog if they need one.”

ZoZo was donated by an organization called Duckhill Kennels in Tennessee.

Garner has a form of epilepsy and has seizures. She also uses a walker to get around, so ZoZo has been a big help with everyday tasks, like opening doors and turning on lights, and also alerts others if an emergency, like a seizure, occurs.

“Carissa Lynne told me one day that she wanted to do something to help other kids like her get service dogs,” Pamela Garner said. “In response to her desire, Carissa Lynne’s Special Blessings Ministry began. My motto that I always tell Carissa is ‘God always answers prayer.’”

Carissa Lynne’s Special Blessings Ministry will host the first-ever PawFour Golf Tournament on April 28 at Chenal Country Club in Little Rock. The money raised will benefit those in need of special services that are unable to afford them. For more information about the organization, to make a donation or participate in the tournament, email pamelagarner@nullcarissalynne.org or call 501-266-3738.

Filmmaking is a creative way for people of all ages to explore meaningful topics and express themselves. Young filmmakers in the state can tackle their own cinematic visions by submitting their work to the Arkansas Educational Television Network’s 2014 Student Selects: A Young Filmmaker’s Showcase. Read More…