Confined inside their house and wanting to do something to lift the spirits of others, three young sisters came up with an art project that not only made quarantine a little easier but also gave the young girls an avenue to spread some 'Faith' around the community.
The project was called Faith Rocks, where three young sisters painted up rocks in bright colors with Bible verses inscribed on them. Jocelyn Beard (12), Jillian Beard (8), and Jacqueline Beard (5) have been busy painting rocks and then distributing them throughout downtown Somerset, for other people to find.
"Faith Rocks started as a way for my daughters to encourage our community during the coronavirus pandemic," explained their mom, Rachel Dickey. "We had noticed a lot of people were walking around downtown and assumed that everyone was just needing some fresh air. My daughters had mentioned painting some of our landscaping rocks and we thought we could put some encouraging verses on them and leave them on the sidewalks for others to see."
And it wasn't long before the three siblings started their own assembly line of Faith Rocks.
"The rocks are actually part of our home landscaping rocks," laughed their mom. "Our landscaping is taking a hit, but the girls love painting the rocks. They each will gather up a few rocks each day and bring them inside to paint. The girls will paint the rocks, usually with one solid color and let them dry. Jocelyn will look up Bible verses on her tablet to write on the rocks using a sharpie.
"After the rocks are dry, we will take them with us as we go on a walk around town," Rachel said. "The girls will place them along the sidewalks or maybe on a bench or somewhere where they can be easily spotted. They also like to walk around the same locations throughout the week to see if the rocks are still there or if they need to be turned back over or need any 'paint repairs'."
Despite their young ages, all three sisters have a pretty good understanding of our nation's current situation and why families are being forced to stay quarantined inside their homes. When asked if they understood the seriousness of the current virus pandemic, each sister responded in their own unique way.
Jocelyn (12) said, “Uh yeah, because we need to stop the spread of the coronavirus. If we come in contact with a lot of people, we could possibly spread the virus around and people would get really sick and maybe die. I’m not worried though, we will be okay.”
Jillian (8) said, “Because there is an illness that is going around and everyone is trying to stay healthy and not get the Corona Virus. I’m worried because I don’t want people to start dying from this. I want us all to stay safe”
Jacqueline (5) said, “Because coronavirus came. We don’t want to catch other people's germs.”
As tough as quarantine has been on most of the nation, the three Beard sisters actually enjoy their time together inside their home.
"Actually I think they are enjoying this time together at home," Rachel said. "My eight-year-old Jillian is the social butterfly of the family and says she misses seeing her friends and her teacher, Ms. Moore. The other two are very content and have no complaints. The only negative I can see, is they want to eat all day long."
Like many, Rachel Beard has tried to keep her girls on a normal 'school week' schedule, and has added an 'old school' course of 'Home Ec' along the way.
"We all seem to do better when we have some sort of routine to follow," Rachel explained. "The girls start their day by cooking breakfast for the family. My oldest, Jocelyn, has been learning to cook for a while now and so I thought it would be a good time to teach Jillian and Jacqueline how to help out in the kitchen. They all know how to make coffee, cook eggs, and make muffins. They actually enjoy doing this and will ask my husband and I to stay out of the kitchen so they can serve us breakfast.
"After breakfast, they start working on their homework packets from school," Rachel continued. "They work on their schoolwork for about an hour and then they have free time. They have to choose an activity that doesn’t involve a screen during this time. So they can play outside, paint, play pretend, do puzzles, or bake something. I then stagger their “online learning time” where they can take turns playing online learning games or use the online programs that their schools recommended. They each are given one chore to help me with each day such as folding towels or emptying the dishwasher. We are pretty flexible on the day as far as timing goes and I don’t want them to get burnt out on doing their school work, so they have several breaks throughout the day."
Thus far, the Beard sisters' Faith Rocks have been the highlight of their home school day.
"We made a Facebook group called 'Faith Rocks' and I have asked people to post any that they find," Rachel stated. "One lady had taken several pictures of the rocks that she found while she was on her mail route and shared on her Facebook page. A mutual friend of mine said that she was encouraged by the rocks, and that is exactly the purpose of what we are doing. The girls are so pleased when they get a 'like' or a 'love' on their page. They enjoy reading the comments as well. They have also seen people walking and taking photos of the rocks and they just love that."
While many adults may feel helpless in this current health crisis, it is refreshing to see three young sisters doing their small part in trying to bring a smile to our faces.
"I had explained to the girls that a lot of people in our town may be feeling worried and discouraged by what has been going on lately," Rachel stated. "They were excited about the idea of spreading encouragement throughout our community with 'Faith Rocks'. I am incredibly proud of the initiative that they have all demonstrated to spread a sense of hope, faith, and love using their talents and abilities. It may be just a simple gesture by three young girls, but there is a lot of heart put into it."