Children always know how to have fun. The return of the wet soggy and smelly T-Shirts tells the T-A-L-E! The trip to St. Marks in Apalachicola was a great lesson in the environment. The children found a horseshoe crab that was brought back to the classroom. Only one of the children knew what it was. As you may see from the pictures, children always know how to find water, sand, and grit. It was a great experience and some of the children expressed an interest in a career of marine biology, environmental solutions to keeping our waters clean, and yes a day away from the urban scene they know. Many want to attend another trip, which are incentivize with a baseline of commitment from good grades, better behavior, and progress reports.
5th Annual Family Fun Day
It started as a beautiful morning. The canvas was bare and staff with volunteers made it a great site for launching Living Stones' 5th Annual Family Fun Day, at Walker Ford Community Center. We want to thank the City of Tallahassee again this year for their partnership, as well as Bridges International, and FASTSIGNS. Thanks to our many supporters this year--note the logos below and make sure they are on your list of places to shop, explore for services, and buy from in the near future. We loved the vendors and want to share with them that their presence makes the difference in offering their services with the neighborhood and Tallahassee community.
The recommendation made to have everything surround the stage was spot on--thanks, Malachi. Newly constructed games made for great competition for the prizes being given away and children were walking around with stuff animals throughout their time at fun day. To our surprise, Prime Meridian Bank provided to us two electronic billboards going north and south on Interstate 10--it's the last picture above---Awesome! Our children and families enjoyed the hot dogs and buns donated by Mom's and Dad's - a blessing. LSI appreciates WFSU PBS covering our story and highlighting it on Tom Flanigan's Show.
In years past we always skirted the rain, but this year would be different. IT POURED! When lightning struck about 1:15 pm, Pastor had to call it a day. As you see from the pictures, it was going to be a great start, yet the finish never came, but we look forward to everyone joining us next year, Saturday, June 16, 2018 at Walker Ford again. Tallahassee, are you ready to have fun-fun-fun!
What an awesome way to start Steamhack 2017 by having our Children of Value (COVE) Academy meet at Florida A&M University Black Archives.
Vincent Hunt, Creators Camp leader, revs up the children's creative juices, in a diverse atmosphere of black history lessons. During the time children were working here, the actual hackers were coming up with solutions at DOMI Station at Railroad Square.
Time ticked on with a continental breakfast starting at 10 am, lunch at noon, and pizza at 6 pm. The children used every minute of their time to create their own scenarios; while the hackers were developing theirs. Of course, the end of the day, everyone including staff and volunteers blew off some steam.
Everyone believed the children were exhausted, but that showed up differently outside. They were still climbing and jumping even after all the brain power used.
. . . The winners of the Children's Award--Children of Value (COVE) Award are two college students from FSU with building virtual reality. Of course the children would pick the goggles, but so did the professional judges. Way to go children. Scale of 1 to 10, 10 the highest score, they received a 10.
After 3 years, the garden is still producing kales, collards, cabbages, and a new guest broccoli. Wow, it's awesome to eat not only the raw kale in salads and smoothies, but to have fry cabbage, too. The broccoli is so tender, yum.
Living Stones appreciates Florida A&M for their involvement with our children and families to make this garden possible. It provides an opportunity for our families to work together. This year is proving to be more abundant so families please come and share in the harvest. Visiting about a week ago, we decided to start harvesting. The boxes you do not see have collards growing that will be ready in about four weeks.
The children will be a part of the spring season--watch out for new crops and new recipes. Next blog I'll share my kale salad recipe.
4th Annual Family Fun Day
The Theme ~ Our Family Reunion would not have been successful without our sponsors, City of Tallahassee’s Walker Ford Community Center, Bridges International, FastSigns, and Farm Share; to name a few. There were 25 vendors that showcased their services to the community. Those services ranged from Voter registration to health services with Florida Blue and so much more. Some vendors were able to provide activities and games for the children.
Our performers did a fantastic job like the jazz duo…. We even had Pastor and Elder JC’s son, Malachi, performing as well. Blazing 102.3 provided a live remote from 11 am to 1 pm and even brought pizza to share with everyone. BJ The Clown provided the children with face painting, balloon animals, and caricature portraits.
Law enforcement were present with police officers from The City of Tallahassee and Leon County Sheriffs’ Department providing the kids with activities. Some candidates running for office join us at the Fun Day, too. Candidates were given the opportunity to announce themselves and the office they were running for as well as be a part of our special announcement— the first recipient of Living Stones’ newest scholarship program, Darius “BJ” Johnson.
Darrius ‘BJ’ Johnson, was the first to receive this scholarship. His family was the first in our Children of Inmates program. Overcoming the odds set before you are what sets BJ apart and the values Living Stones would like to develop in our future scholarship recipients. Congratulations, BJ!
LSI will continue to raise funds to benefit children of inmates as they continue their education in the future.
Thank you to everyone that came out to help make Saturday, June 18, 2016 a great success for our children and families in the community
On May 20 – 22, 2016, Reverend R. B. Holmes Jr. and the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church hosted the Criminal & Social Justice Awareness Weekend. The weekend recognized persons and organizations involved in prison ministries.
Several qualified guest speakers shared the panel or facilitated workshops.
The culminating event was held at Bethel Baptist Church on Sunday, May 22, 2016, at the 11:00 a.m. Worship Service. Living Stones International’s founders were recognized for our Children of Inmates Program and involvement with working in prison ministry for the last four years.
Reverend Dr. R.B. Holmes spoke about “The Strength of the Lord” and “The Strength to Stand Up.” The scriptures were Nehemiah 8:10, Psalm 27, and Ephesians 6:10. He also congratulated those in attendance for their work in prisons.
All activities for the weekend were empowering to witness.
Greetings Friends of Living Stones. Below is a video on YouTube sharing Living Stones’ mission. Special thanks to Zack Gibson, Kenyata Frazier, Cecilia Denmark, and Mrs. Rouse for awesome words supporting our Ministry…Children of Inmates.
JC and Gary will always be grateful to Shellie Solomon, Executive Director of the Service Network Children of Inmate program for inviting Living stones to become a partner with them making a difference in the lives of children with a parent in prison. Also, special shout outs to Lori Brown and BI team for embracing our vision and planting seeds to assure LSI delivery of services to children in Florida. Above all we thank God for ordering our steps in this season and giving Gary and I the passion for the little ones and their parents in the video.
Although lives of children are being transformed, we still haven’t scratch the surface of the problem of children with incarcerated parent and prisoner reentry. The video below was completed by our Interns at FSU. It is so reassuring our college students were able to capture our vision so clearly on film.
Again enjoy as we continue the journey together.
And remember, you’re planting in fertile ground where blessing the children and their families will also bless you.
Fresh air and great food plus good company will get children playing games every time. The after school program took time to head out to Tom Brown Park for food, fun, and fellowship. The mentors were ready, games in hand, and some nifty ways to see if children are paying attention.
A pep talk from Eddie received well because when JC drove up, she started to snap pictures seeing how everyone was paying attention. After our snack of subs and juice---the games began. There were 3 stations that lasted about 10 minutes each. Have you ever tried to get through a hula hoop holding another hand in a circle without breaking the circle? What laughter and fun everyone had that afternoon.
As staff and mentors, we decided this was more fun for us than the students. Tom Brown Park will be back. We know there are many sunny days awaiting some more surprise visits to the park.
What a blessing for Living Stones to be able to partner with the Yellow Cab company for our Children of Inmates’ bonding visit. Yellow Cab was able to transport our families directly to the prison, throughout the 3 days ~ March 15 through the 17th to three state prison facilities. We hosted 3 bonding visit during the Spring Break for four counties of Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, and Wakulla Counties. Children receive Yellow Cab bags that helped them carry –
Look at the above picture showing the kids with the book bags and Pastor giving a pep talk. Guess who’ll be there for transportation on the next bonding visit with us. If you said Yellow Cab, you are correct.
Yellow Cab . . .
LSI has also partnered with The Pepper Lady for catering our bonding events.
She has been a tremendous help with catering for about 50-90 people at each bonding visit. It’s great to know the food is delivered to us and always on time. The Service Network asked for West Indian food, as their theme for Earth Day this spring. The inmates as well as the families enjoyed a delicious meal of curry chicken, rice, stir fry-veggies, and strawberry shortcake. What was wonderful is that each child had their individual cup of angel food cake, strawberries, and whipped cream. Everyone indulged in multiple plates, so food was plentiful. What a joy to see everyone go home with full bellies.
Want and desire some hot and spicy seasonings and flavorings, find The Pepper Lady. She delivers what you need. Ask about her catering, too. Checkout her offerings on her Facebook page listed. Yummy!
If you’re ever interested in volunteering on our bonding visits to be a part of something wonderful and meaningful, contact Living Stones at (850) 765-0320. It will change your life. Looking to make a difference in someone’s life, call Pastor Gary Montgomery to find out how you may be a part of Living Stones’ special bonding visits.
Watch and listen out for Living Stones International new television program. called The Stone Builders, broadcasting on Christian Television Network (CTN). It airs Thursdays at 9:30 on Comcast 239 or Century Link 45. We're also listed on Youtube.com at https://youtu.be/mCJQJOKYIuA.
The program will address current issues affecting the faith-based community, the programs and services Living Stones offers, as well as how we as believers are to remain strong and committed to God's word. Tune in every Thursday at 9:30 am at the stations mentioned above or through our YouTube channel. Pastor Gary and Elder Josephine look forward to hearing from our audience with your comments and suggestions.
Stay connected with persons of character to rebuild, restore, and repair healthy relationships among your family members!