Introducing Our New Life Skills Classes

On River Time Earthborn Pottery

On River Time is thrilled to partner with Big Oak Ranch in support of their new "Ascend" program which serves former ranch kids who are now freshmen and sophomores in college. We have just concluded five weeks of "Life Skills" programming, designed to prepare these students for their future as successful adults.

On River Time Life Skills Etiquette Class Ascend Big Oak Ranch

Our new "Life Skills" classes include topics such as interview skills, public speaking, etiquette, and business ethics.
The highlight, though, was a trip to Earthborn Pottery, where owner, Tena Payne, showed the kids how to throw on the wheel and talked to them about hard work, patience, and persistence in art and life.
Read below the excerpt from Ascend's director, Kelli Croyle, as she describes how that visit gave one student in particular a glimpse of his future.
"So thankful for our partnership with On River Time as Wendy Garner and her assistant, Beth, traveled with us to Leeds yesterday to Earthborn Pottery. I'm thankful for the opportunity our Ascendants had to not only participate in "throwing" something on the potter's wheel, but also for the wisdom that Tena, owner and creator of Earthborn Pottery shared with them. As they began creating and molding their hands to the clay, lots of words and phrases were thrown around like, "I cannot do this" and "this is not working for me". She told them to stop with the negative self-talk - she encouraged them, "if you're willing to do something and you put your mind to it, you CAN do it."

This day was so encouraging for Jai'Shawn. He has been questioning his career path lately, with no other reason than it's just getting a little difficult. As he sat down at the potter's wheel yesterday, you would've assumed this was not his first time. By using his hands, he crafted two of the most beautiful clay pots that I've seen. He completed two pieces, cleaned his station, and was talking to the owner before anyone else had finished their first piece. I know God used yesterday to provide confirmation for him. I was so encouraged by how uplifted and driven he seemed afterwards. 
His words: "I made this today. Turns out, my hands are what's going to get me where I"m going."
-Kelli Croyle, Director of Ascend - Big Oak Ranch
On River Time trip for Big Oak Ranch to Earthborn Pottery
We are excited about this new opportunity to bring "Life Skills" classes to the college-age students from Big Oak Ranch in Birmingham. We're currently exploring ways to offer the same curriculum to the three other homes we serve in Mississippi and Texas. Stay tuned! More big things are to come!


"The shaping process is hard and long. Trials come to shape us. Our faith is stretched and tested. But in all the stretching, pulling and shaping, His one design is to make us into a vessel He can use for His glory.” - Jeff Syverson