All in the Family

Ryan and Kim Raup’s teenagers are a talented bunch. They are also actively involved in their community.
For the past few months, they have all been rehearsing and performing in the Conway High School musical, “Mary Poppins” which was held at the James Clark Auditorium April 20-22. Savannah, 18, had the lead role of Mary Poppins while her sister, Madeline, 16, was the Bird Lady. Their younger brother, Jonathan, 11, also had a role as one of the penguins.
These three have been involved in many local stage productions. All three have performed in the last three CHS musicals, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” “Footloose,” and “Peter Pan.” They also had roles in “The Music Man,” a Red Curtain Theater production last summer. Savannah and Madeline both had roles in “The Wiz” (2012) while Savannah also was in “Hairspray” (2011) and “Beauty and the Beast,” (2013).
These siblings also exercise their musical talents in other areas. Savannah is in the CHS Choir while Madeline plays the flute and is in the CHS flag line. Jonathan has also been in choir and recently began learning trumpet at Ruth Doyle.
“We have always tried to encourage our kids to get out and be a part of something,” Ryan Raup said. “Like many parents, we support them whenever possible and insist that they have fun and do things they enjoy. Our job is to raise kids that will be contributors to their community and live life to its fullest with brave intensity to lead by example.”
The whole family recently participated in packing meals for Tacos for Life. The Tacos for Life Foundation, headed by Austin and Ashton Samuelson, holds a MobilePack session semi-annually to pack meals that are donated to Feed My Starving Children.
Ryan, a first grade teacher at Ellen Smith, has also involved his children in an annual Christmas tradition at his school. Every year, Ryan dons his Conductor costume for “The Polar Express.” After reading the book and doing various learning activities based on the story, pajama-clad students at the school gather on the Friday before Christmas break to watch the movie. Savannah, Madeline and Jonathan have all helped with tickets and served hot chocolate to the children.
Savannah has also worked at the Women’s Shelter and helped with the semi-annual FBLA blood drive at Conway High School. Last summer, she headed up the drama class at the Centennial Summer Camp. She also helps provide childcare at First Presbyterian, on Sundays.
When asked what motivates her to be involved in her community, Savannah said, “Your community is part of who you are so you want to give back. You’ve gotten so much so you want to give back and make a difference.”
Both Savannah and Madeline have been in Girl Scouts for several years. They have supplied many with their annual cache of Girl Scout cookies. Madeline has been in Girl Scouts for 11 years and has participated in numerous service projects such as collecting shoes for Waterstep which builds wells for people in Africa. The troop has also collected books for the Bookcase Project, served meals at Bethlehem House and made hats for Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
Jonathan, during his three years with Cub Scouts, participated in a variety of community activities. He has also participated in Little Dribblers, flag football, chess club, and a running club.
When asked why he felt it was important to be involved in his community, Jonathan said, “I do it to show that I care about our community.”
Jonathan is also involved in a coding club. Last year, Jonathan and two classmates created an app, “School Works,” which helps individuals organize websites that they use at school. The trio later entered the project in a coding competition.
“Their schedules can be daunting at times but somehow they manage to stay focused and relentless,” Raup said. “Their grandparents have been concerned for years that they are too busy. We maintain that they only do what they can handle. They never disappoint.”
Savannah will be graduating in May and will be off to college. She will be working on her middle grades education degree at UCA. She will be in the EDGE residential college and will continue her stage activities as part of the UCA theatre. Madeline and Jonathan, no doubt, will continue to find ways to be involved in theatre, music and their community.
“We are so excited and proud that each of them are leaders at school, caring souls, friends to others, outgoing and driven to do things that others would be tentative to even try because it may be out of their comfort zones,” said Raup. “They love to laugh and are passionate about life. We are truly blessed to be parents of three most excellent kiddos.”