Cultural Diversity can be a challenging topic for most adults, so Bulloch County Schools turned to kids to ask how they were different from each other and what diversity meant to them. Bulloch County Schools launched a Cultural Diversity Contest last April asking for students, from elementary to high school, to submit poems, essays, short stories, artwork, and videos as to what they believe makes them different from their peers.
Hayley Greene, Public Relations Marketing Specialist for Bulloch County Schools reached out to Stouthouse Media to capture the best responses on film and transform those responses into a six minute video. Mrs. Greene was impressed by videos Stouthouse produced for the Blue Mile and wanted to use someone locally, so she met with the team to give them an overview of the project.
Stouthouse owner, Jake Hallman, and videographer Jenni Kight, who both have children in Bulloch Co. Schools, took that vision and spent hours filming students at different schools across the district. “They were extremely patient and accommodating,” said Mrs. Greene. “They made the students feel at ease, which was crucial for getting good video and capturing off the cuff comments.”
According to Hallman, “The project was pretty intimidating at first – we were looking at multiple days of interviews, with lots of kids, in several locations. The Bulloch County School system has some amazing students, though who made it easy.” He added, “Working with Hailey and Allie was a dream. From planning to execution, they shepherded the project to success.”
The toughest part was narrowing down over 100 minutes of footage into the final six minute video. Greene stated that Stouthouse far exceeded expectations of the school board, superintendent and the staff. The video launched July 2018 and can be found on on the district’s website homepage or by clicking here.
According to Phillip Tremble, the district’s Human Resources director, “This video is not the end of our work, but the beginning.”
The video received a Gold Award and a Best In Class Award from from the Georgia Public Relations Association’s annual media awards program. Judged by volunteers from the North Carolina School Public Relations Association, the video received a more than perfect score and multiple positive comments about how it addressed a difficult topic.
The video is part of a strategic objective of the school system’s 2020 plan to “Develop and implement a plan to attract, retain, and promote effective employees.” Part of that goal includes a strategic task to “Implement a diversity plan to attract and retain a more diverse group of qualified faculty and administrators.”
Bulloch County Schools serves children representing 24 different nationalities and speaking 18 different languages across its 15 campuses. Currently less than 20 percent of its faculty and less than 30 percent of its administrators represent Hispanic, American Indian, Asian, Black, Pacific Islander or multiple races. Minority candidates are more often than not choosing to work in more metropolitan areas, so the district is using the video to try to recruit more culturally diverse employees.
The video has also been used as an icebreaker for annual diversity training of faculty and staff. Children see things very differently than adults. Their answers by way of poetry, essays, visual arts, and video are helping invigorate conversations on the topic across the district.
The diversity video is being entered into a statewide School Human Resource Association competition as well as the National School Public Relations Association competition which will be announced this summer.
The school board plans to do more video, possibly using some of the footage that had to be cut. They’re also talking with Stouthouse about other completely different video options as well since they’re so happy with the work.
Congratulations to Stouthouse Media on their award-winning video.
Students who skateboard around campus will be happy to see a few new additions to campus thanks to student sustainability fees. Zach Lemons, political science major ‘19, has been involved with BIG since his freshman year when he joined Enactus. Like any good entrepreneur, he identified a problem and went about finding a proper solution.
Zach is extremely involved on campus. He’s an RA for Eagle Village, SOAR Leader, Southern Ambassador and active member of several student organizations. His preferred means of transportation around campus to classes and events is a skateboard. But, what do you do with your board once you get where you’re going? Usually, the solution is to take it in and set it next to your desk or table but try to keep it out of the way from being a tripping hazard, or just take the bus instead.
The solution, skateboard docks. In Spring of 2018, Zach completed a grant application for Student Sustainability Fees. He did research and found SM10X Skateboard Docks and made the case. “GS Skate Docks is intended to encourage an alternate form of transportation by installing skate docks that enable students to safely and securely lock up their boards while they are on campus.” The docks are like bike racks, but for boards.
Zach connected with the University’s Facilities Department to determine the best locations and estimated cost for installations. The locations determined were the RAC, mid-pedestrium around Lakeside, and Dining Commons. These locations were strategically determined to help encourage students to skate instead of taking the bus or driving. Providing skate docks at these locations give students a secure place to lock up their boards while eating, working out or attending classes.
The docks were installed this fall all thanks to student sustainability fees. Next semester, as he’s completing classes and planning for graduation, Zach will also be promoting these new docks and skateboarding on campus.
By Eminah Quintyne
After nine years of delivering food in the Statesboro and surrounding areas, Boro Takeout will now be a franchise of Mr. Delivery, an online ordering and food delivery service located in 20 cities across the U.S. This business decision creates expansion and streamlines the details of many operational procedures Boro Takeout previously undertook on its own. Now Boro Takeout will deliver for a broader scope of restaurants including more chain and local restaurants.
Nine years ago, Boro Takeout began on a handshake. Rick Robins and Stephen and Sally Minton are business partners and the owners of Boro Takeout. The business began when the Mintons closed a restaurant they owned, Jaman Caribbean Cafe. They had a relationship with Robins, who used to sell credit card machines part-time, and he encouraged they all go into a food delivery business. The Mintons focused on the food service aspects of the business, and Robins was responsible for finance. They developed a great working relationship over their collaborative passion for food.
“Food brings variety, creativity — there are so many things you can do and flavors you can create. Food brings everyone together because everyone likes to eat. It is a common denominator with people. I enjoy food delivery because there is no food cost. I like the simplicity of it, and I meet a lot of great people who order, ” said Sally.
To reflect the Mr. Delivery brand, the Boro Takeout name will change to Mr. Delivery along with the logo and overall business model. Boro Takeout customer service representatives (CSR) will be trained and paid through Mr. Delivery. Food delivery drivers are paid an hourly rate plus tips. In addition, Delivery Drivers Incorporated (DDI) will hire 100 percent of all delivery drivers, conduct a driving record background check using their driver’s license, offer commercial insurance at a rate of less than $10 per week and will pay delivery drivers every Friday through direct deposit or through a reloadable card in lieu of having a bank account. Mr. Delivery will also route calls for food delivery orders to CSRs through their Texas call center. Sally will continue to develop relationships with new and existing restaurants to get them on board as a food delivery option and will reach out to areas in Atlanta and additional counties.
“We are at a point in business where we seek to develop more standard operating procedures we wanted to continue with our business, but we also sought to really expand and to become a part of a larger brand,” said Sally.
Currently, Boro Takeout serves Statesboro, Savannah, Rincon, Richmond Hill, Hinesville and Thomasville. Their goal is to be among the largest food delivery services, competing with the likes of GrubHub or Ubereats, in Georgia and beyond.
“We want customers to be happy with the quality of food. Customer service is a priority for Boro Takeout. We want to be known for delivering high quality of food that is hot and fresh and known for having premier customer service. I enjoy customer service and problem-solving,” said Sally.
To assure food is delivered hot and fresh, Boro Takeout invested in high-quality delivery bags. They primarily use a catering jacket bag which has tethered boards for hot and cold food items and one inch of poly batting on all six sides to help insulate the bag, keeping food at the right temperature. Custom delivery jackets are put into use for Chinese or Asian foods due to the nature of the boxed food containers, and pizzas are delivered in a pizza jacket. Delivery time is important to Boro Takeout. They will not place an order unless a delivery driver is lined up. CSRs are frank about true delivery time. Sally works to ensure food is delivered in a reasonable amount of time.
Food delivery can be more than a meal. For some, it is personal and thoughtful. Sally shared that a woman living in England ordered three steak dinners to be delivered for her father’s birthday. Each steak was sent one at a time each day over the weekend before he went out for the evening. A gentleman who was out of town ordered a meal for his fiancée and surprised her with a Skype dinner so they could enjoy a meal together, and a concerned mom called worried about how she could get fluids to her sick son and Boro Takeout delivered.
Boro Takeout started with eight deliveries during their first week of business. They had a minimum of six drivers and as many as 14 delivery drivers at a time. Today, they get more than 1,000 hits on their website per day and make approximately 150 deliveries per day. The sky is the limit, and their vision is to grow broad and firm.
By Eminah Quintyne
Because physical, mental, and emotional balance may be impacted by stress, Pause Button 2.0 created a platform to help alleviate stress through a podcast. Anita Brown and Jill Johns are the owners and co-hosts of Pause Button 2.0. Both women are married with children and have had long careers in varying industries. The conviction to launch this platform came from recognizing stress is an undeniable part of life and should be treated with healthy coping mechanisms to prevent dysfunction and disease. A spotlight is shed on everyday people because the owners believe the everyday person is special considering everyday people work to do the best they can with where they are in life.
“At the Pause Button 2.0, we celebrate each and every self-care ‘penny’ that’s gathered along the journey that leads to a lifetime of physical, emotional and spiritual ‘wealth,’” said Jill.
Vulnerable storytelling is the underpinning to Pause Button 2.0. The message behind the platform’s name is about pausing on the hustle and bustle of life to bring awareness to the present moment. Practical application of self-care techniques are offered through the podcast, video footage, and workshops and retreats.
“People connect with others when they’re able to say ‘me too,’ and it’s difficult to get that connection unless there’s vulnerable storytelling. When we see ourselves in someone else’s story, we feel connected through empathy. Empathetic relationships offer people support and space for change when change is necessary. Our audio is very lightly edited, and listeners feel like they’re part of the conversation,” said Anita.
Owners express they have a strong sense of self, and the quality of their relationships with others did not improve until they improved the quality of the relationship they had with themselves.
“It makes sense that when we are filled will compassion for ourselves, we have it to give to others. Likewise, when we give ourselves the time and space to process our emotions, we are inclined to offer that to others,” said Anita.
Mini-courses, free downloads, and social media and online interactions are support tools Pause Button 2.0 offers listeners. Jill expressed they offer workshops and retreats because sometimes listeners want more like interacting with others on a similar path and with the co-host.
“The Pause Button 2.0 podcast provides a community and a platform for people to explore self-care in an honest and supported environment. We pride ourselves on building relationships with our listeners through vulnerable storytelling and playful banter and we carry that relationship into the real world,” said Jill. Workshops and retreats work to bridge the gap that may disconnect people from one another in a digital age.
Jill admits she likes to celebrate the success in the mundane parts of everyday life.
Ordinary happenings of everyday life impact people in different ways. Jill admits she likes to celebrate success in what some may cconsider the mundane parts of life.
“The success stories that resonate with me are the simple stories where listeners are proud of themselves for saying no to a seemingly simple ask, yet the power of saying no felt giant,” said Jill.
The wherewithal to make informed decisions is supported by sharing information, however, Anita expressed people are their own experts.
“No one else can determine what the answer will be for us. Each of us has the capacity for knowing what is best for ourselves. Sometimes we don’t trust ourselves and end up giving that power to others,” said Anita.
Pause Button 2.0 is about providing content to help the community make informed decisions about giving themselves the right to feel things, be human, and work through the many stressors of everyday life. The owners are local and may be found online at:
SoundCloud, iTunes and Stitcher
The Business Innovation Group’s Marie Williams is Changing the Educational Landscape in Statesboro One Child at a Time
Marie Williams is currently offering Statesboro’s first traveling tutoring camp and summer program for students ages 6 – 12 in an effort to bridge grade-level standard gaps in the area. Statesboro resident Shunda “Marie” Alston Williams, 33, is the owner and operator of Williams Events, an educational event planning service, and Innovation Incubator client. After experiencing a downturn in her event planning business and witnessing academic disparities in her son, Williams began the W.E. Move! Tutoring Camp and Summer Fun program.
Williams said she thought W.E. Move! could do two things: provide supplemental income during the decline in Williams Events clientele and support her son in his academic areas of need. After further research, Williams realized that W.E. Move! was an academic supplement that could benefit many young students in the Statesboro area.
Results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading test in 2009 showed that 85 percent of low-income fourth-graders who attend high-poverty schools do not reach the NAEP’s reading standard. According to the 2016 U.S. Census, more than 50 percent of the Statesboro population is below the poverty line which puts many elementary school students in Statesboro in jeopardy of falling below the national standard.
In partnership with BIG, the We Move! summer program focuses on developing students’ reading and mathematics skills through individualized attention to combat Statesboro’s negative educational statistics.
Currently, the program is only being offered during June and July, summer vacation months for Georgia school systems. However, Williams has greater plans for the program.
“…I’m really thinking about how [I can] develop We Move! to be a year-round source for parents and children that have academic areas of need,” Williams said.
The W.E. Move! program has received a positive response from the Statesboro community, so much so that Williams was forced to shut down registration for the summer of 2018. Williams hopes to continue W.E. Move! as a branch of Williams Events.