Lights, Camera, Action!

Acting is what T Tauri Movie Camp students learn during their two weeks in Batesville. One camp participant and Rancher, Kris, displayed his acting abilities and was also featured in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette on the front page!

These campers spend two weeks making real movies to light the big screen. Ultimately they will be shown during the T Tauri Film Festival, August 4-6, at University of Arkansas Community College in Batesville.  Films made at this year’s T Tauri Movie Camp along with forty-five short films are scheduled, all by film makers of ages 18 and under, the best of 86 entries from 12 states.

For more information: visit or call (870) 251-1189.

Excerpt from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette Wednesday, July 27, Family section E article by Ron Wolfe.

(Click the picture of Kris to read the caption.)

Get Our Ranchers Ready For School

It’s that time again… Back to School for the Ranchers!

Please see the following list if you’re seeking our school supply donation needs to get our Ranchers ready for school.

Ranch School Supply List:

  • Sturdy, Large Backpacks
  • 3 Ring Binders (2” or 3” and some with plastic front pockets)
  • Mechanical Pencils (re-fellable)
  • College Rule Filler Paper
  • 1 Subject Spiral College Rule Notebooks
  • 3 Subject Spiral College Rule Notebooks
  • Blue, Black and Red Pens
  • Highlighters
  • Post-Its (2” by 2”)
  • Subject Dividers for Binders
  • Scissors
  • Pink Erasers
  • White Erasers
  • Pencil Case
  • Rulers
  • TI 87 or TI 87 plus Calculators
  • TI89 or TI89 plus Calculators
  • Pencil Crayons
  • Washable Felt Markers
  • Plastic Page Protectors
  • Manila Expandable folders

A True Calling: Faith Hall

Cheyenne Ingram, the houseparent at Faith Hall, has been with the Ranch for 28 years.  She and her husband of 34 years, Rick Ingram have dedicated their lives to what they call a true calling from God.  Cheyenne and Rick have two children of their own, Seth- 31 and Emily-22, who have grown up with the kids at the ranch and have become like brothers and sisters to everyone that lives there.   

In a typical day I get up at 7a.m. and start getting breakfast ready.  Around 9 a.m. the boys are all well fed and ready to start the day doing work crew.  At noon we all go back inside to clean up and eat a good lunch.  After work crew is over, my day usually progresses to going grocery shopping, doing laundry, or cleaning the house.  Dinner gets started at 6p.m. and its free time for the boys until bedtime. 

All the years I have been here there have been plenty of memories but one good memory that makes me laugh every time I think of it is one of a former resident.  He disliked doing the dishes chore, but one night in particular he made the kitchen look spotless.  After I had checked his work and went back to my own, one of the kids came to get me in order to show me something in the kitchen.  Read more…

Fun at the Fair

The county fair this year had many attractions.  Cody Slaughter, one of the world’s top 10 Elvis impersonators, was there to perform his tribute music to Elvis.  The Staples’ animals and magic show was also there and showed over 90 different animals including tigers.  A person could ride a camel, see a kangaroo, or watch a spider monkey do a little show if they ventured into Staples “jungle”. 

New to the fair this year was a two-story fun house named the Monkey Maze and the Nemesis 360, an attraction that came back this year, a local kid’s favorite.  In the barn there were a variety of farm animals ready to be judged and in an adjacent building you could see all the artwork from around the county.  Another thing to see at the fair was the Veterans Appreciation Day, a ceremonial recognition of Independence County’s local veterans.  In the same spirit, people were able to visit the Arkansas Fallen Heroes Memorial, a traveling 100-foot by 100-foot flag display honoring Arkansas soldiers who have died in Iraq.

Bethesda Day and Turtle Races


Bethesda Day is a special holiday in our community where everyone gets together to enjoy our neighborhood.  A parade is given through the heart of the community with antique cars, buggies, and floats from the local churches.  A few of the kids take part with the Bethesda Volunteer Fire Department. They enjoy the sense of pride they feel as the fire trucks go by in the parade.  After the parade is over, everyone congregates at the Bethesda Community Center where various games and pageants take place. 

Each year the one event kids always look forward to are the turtle races.  The competition is fierce as all the kids collect turtles from their backyards to put them up against each other in a contest of speed. Don’t worry– no turtles were hurt during this activity. 

The girls always find some time to enter into the Ms. Bethesda beauty pageant. They enjoy spending time in their beautiful gowns.  After everyone has had their fun with the games and pageant, the food is brought out.  BBQ meat, coleslaw, corn on the cob, and an assortment of pies are set out for everyone.  The kids get their fill and enjoy a nice glass of lemonade or sweet tea. 

All of the kids get the opportunity to see and enjoy the comfort of living in such a close-knit community!

Our Ranch Kids Rock!

Shawndra (left) and Jamey (right)

At the end of the year the school hosts an award night for its students and two of our young people received acknowledgement for their achievements. Shawndra received the Academic Distinction Award from the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville.  Jamey’s History Day team won first place at regionals for their project on Japanese Internment Camps and received a special honor for this at the awards ceremony.  At the state competition at the University of Central Arkansas their team came in at a close fourth place.

Our new website has launched!

New  includes features to keep supporters connected with life on the Ranch

Throughout the past 35 years, the Ranch has introduced many resources to share its successes with those who make them possible. That capability greatly expanded in June with the launch of the new, a redesigned website using the latest in communications tools to provide an inside look at daily life on the Ranch and keep supporters more connected than ever before.

“What makes the Ranch special for our kids are the moments they share each and every day as a family,” says Ranch CEO Mike Cumnock. “It’s a whole new experience for them. You see it in their faces, hear it in their stories; and now, through this new website, we can share these moments with our supporters as they happen,” said Cumnock.

The new features a weekly updated “News” section providing the latest stories and updates from the Ranch with accompanying pictures, videos and other multimedia. The section also includes feature profiles of current Ranchers, guest commentaries from staff members including Cumnock, and testimonials from former Ranchers about their life-changing experiences.

Read more…

Graduation 2011

Having so many kids of such varying ages ensures that the ranch gets to stay with some of our kids through all of their academic achievements.  Chandler Lowell and Shawndra Hastings graduated from Batesville High School on May 20, 2011.  In honor of being a vocational completer, Shawndra wore a red cord with her graduation gown.  Tim completed his GED requirements this year and all three of them have already made plans for college.  We also had another college graduate this year. Tyrone Teran graduated from the University of Central Arkansas in May.  He completed his college career with a Bachelor Degree in Science and Education specializing in Science and Mathematics for Middle School children.
To see pictures of the 2011 graduates… Read more…

New Births

One of the great joys of living on the Ranch with lots of animals is getting to see the baby animals.  Three of our horses recently gave birth to foals.  Everyone enjoys seeing them every day in the pasture and watching them take their first steps running.  These babies don’t have names yet but you can be sure the kids will have them picked out in no time.

Gratton Hall Family

Things have gotten hectic around Gratton Hall.  We have recently combined both of the girls’ houses.  Teresa, Sarah, Vanessa, and Morgan are now members of the Gratton family.  A few of the girls attended a Cardinals’ baseball game.  Although the Cardinals lost, we still had a blast.  Traveling to St. Louis was quite an adventure.  Shawndra bought her first car and graduated from Batesville High School May 20.  She will be attending UACCB in the fall and is very excited.  Vanessa loves being outside jumping on the trampoline, playing catch, and just having fun.  We try to do fun things on Saturdays whether it’s going to the park, going bowling, or going to the movies.  We also enjoy spending time at home playing outside.  The girls are becoming adept at horseback riding.  One-on-one time and family time are important to us at Gratton.  We are making relationship-building a priority. Read more…