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Back to School Tips for Elementary Parents and Students

elementary-school-students-raising-hands-in-classroom-e1380536491162Where did the summer go? It is hard to believe, but local elementary to high school students and families are in the midst of preparations for heading back to school! Students in the Savannah-Chatham County school district and Liberty County school district  will be heading back to school the first week of August.  Back to school time can be stressful for the entire family. Children and parents are nervous about going to school, having a new teacher, new classroom and making new friends and parents are in turn nervous for their children!

Back to School Tips for Parents

Getting your child prepared for school for the first time requires planning and practicing.  There are many things that need to be taken care of before the child goes back to school as well as during the first week of classes. If you follow these tips, the first day of school won’t be so stressful:

  • Parents should have a positive attitude about going back to school and share their enthusiasm about learning, reading and school with their children.
  • Attend back-to-school open houses and “meet the teacher” events and parent/teacher conferences. Have an open communication channel with the child’s teacher via email or in person conference.
  • Make sure that the children’s forms, including permission slips, health forms and school supply lists are completed and organized. Keep these items together in a folder (per child) or scan them into the computer for safe keeping.
  • Create a family calendar to list school assignment due dates, meeting dates, activities, play dates, etc. Encourage the children to add to the calendar and check it daily.
  • Develop the back to school routine that includes morning, after-school homework and evening activities. Allow the child time directly after school to “decompress” and play before delving into homework.
  • Have a designated spot for homework. It should be a clean flat surface with good lighting and free from distractions. Have homework supplies (pencils, paper, glue sticks, etc.,) near the homework spot, so a child can easily grab what they need.
  • Get involved in the school activities. If able, volunteer to help with the child’s class or at school events.

 

Back to School Tips for Kids

Back to school week can be daunting for children, but if a family has a routine that the child is used to, then the transition to summer vacation to back to school can be easier. The most important thing for a family to do during back to school time is to have a routine and daily schedule for morning routines, after-school activities and playdates, homework and bedtime.

  • It is very important that the child gets enough sleep. School aged children should have at least 8-10 hours of sleep a night. Adjust the child’s bedtime earlier the week before school starts to give them time to get used to a new schedule.
  • Have the child help with “back to school” shopping. Let them pick out the colors of their backpack, lunch box and school supplies.
  • Now that summer is over, it is time to get your child back in the healthy eating habit. Pack healthy snacks and lunches for the child. Set a time to pack lunches with your child’s assistance.
  • Have a designated spot to put backpacks every day when the school day is over. Parents and children should go through the backpack together in order to get homework assignments, notes from the school and any other information. Make sure that completed assignments get placed in the backpack every evening.
  • The night before the first day of school, pick out your outfit from socks to tops and have it laid out ready for the next morning. Pack the backpack with all of the supplies that you will need on the first day of school.

Once families are in the full swing of the school year, sports or other extra-curricular activities clutter can begin to build in your once organized space. Consider renting a self storage unit to place sporting equipment, extra supplies and children projects to help keep your home organized. Stop N Stor sends best wishes to students and families heading back to school in the Hinesville, Port Wentworth and Savannah areas!

The Holidays are the Season of Giving

Wreath with food ornaments

The holiday season is in full swing in the Savannah area. There are holiday light displays to see, orchestra and choir concerts to attend, shopping to finish and gatherings to take place with family and friends. The holidays are a time of giving and receiving. This is also the time of year when people can be in the most need. For charitable organizations, both nationally and locally, this is the biggest fund raising time of year. There are many organizations in the Savannah area that are helping fulfill the need for food, toys and other items this holiday season by holding toy collections, food drives and donation contests. Many local companies, retail shops and businesses are still taking donations and collecting food to help out the local food pantries during the holiday season.

The Savannah & Hinesville areas have many organizations, which you can get involved with in this season of giving. The Savannah Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia  is the Savannah area’s food bank. Savannah’s Second Harvest has a yearly holiday food drive called “Feed It Forward” as well as other events throughout the year that donate to the organization.  The Savannah Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia receives daily truckloads of donated food from local and national grocery chains, business and individual donors. The donations are then sorted, stocked and then distributed to 300 non-profit agencies in a 24 county service area. The agencies that are served include local food pantries, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, domestic abuse facilities, senior centers and lower-income daycare centers. Hinesville is just one of the cities that are helped out by Savannah’s Second Harvest. Savannah Feed the Hungry Inc. is hosting two Christmas dinners this season in Savannah and Hinesville. The Savannah dinner will be held on December 22nd from 12-6pm at Forsyth Park. Savannah Feed the Hungry will provide a hot meal to over 6000 needy families during that time. The event will also help families in need with extra help for toys for Christmas, free health screenings and clothing. The Liberty County Manna House will be serving Christmas dinner on December 23rd in conjunction with Savannah Feed the Hungry from 4-6pm. Savannah Feed the Hungry is a non-profit 100% volunteer organization that helps feed need families and restore their dignity.

There are also traditional giving campaigns by national organizations during the holiday season. The bell ringer and red kettles for the Salvation Army has been a traditional sight for decades. The Marine Reserves have been collecting new toys for Toys for Tots  for nearly 70 years. The Savannah area drop off point for toys for Toys for Tots will be collecting toys through this Friday, December 14th. Local companies such as Chatham Toyota/Lexus, have raised over $5,000 in donations and toys to help Toys for Tots.  Once the toys are collected, they are sent to a central distribution point and then distributed to local community organizations that partner with Toys for Tots. You can continue to make donations to this very worthwhile cause after the holidays by making a donation at the Toys for Tots website.

The holidays are time for family and friends to gather to enjoy the traditions of the season. It is also the biggest season for giving. Stop N Stor wishes all of their customers, vendors, family and friends all the best this holiday season.

Its Christmas Time

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It’s hard to believe that Christmas is in less than 2 weeks! After all of the shopping, baking, decorating, traveling and prep work, it is time to relax and enjoy the holidays.  You have picked up the items that you purchased on Black Friday and stored in self-storage units. Savannah and its surrounding communities are busy with holiday activities. Hinesville kicked off its holiday celebrations with a tree lighting ceremony in Bradwell Park. The 15th annual Hinesville Christmas parade took place on Friday, December 9, 2011 with the parade route going through downtown Hinesville. 75 floats, cars and trucks took part in this year’s parade. Hundreds of people lined the parade route, including lots of children who were excited to see the bright lights. It was a fun event for families and the community! The parade was sponsored by the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce . Stop n Stor decorated our car with holiday lights to be part of the parade. Thanks to regional manager, Lisa Wilkerson for taking photos of the fun!

There are so many things to see and do in Savannah during the holiday season. Visitors and Savannah citizens looking for a great tour of Savannah’s holiday traditions can take the Holly Jolly Trolley Tour  put on by Old Towne Trolley Tours. The tour is full of stories, carols and sight-seeing and Santa even makes an appearance!  One of the many stops on the tour is the Davenport House and the Owens-Thomas House. Be transported back to holidays past at both of these historical homes. Savannah’s Harbor Foundation sponsors a gingerbread village and tree of life celebration at the Westin Golf Resort & Spa .  Local chefs, businesses and individuals create gingerbread houses and compete for the best creation of the season. The tree of life celebration includes trees decorated by business and community groups. The wonderfully decorated trees are then auctioned off to benefit a local charity. You can’t celebrate Christmas in Savannah without seeing “A Christmas Tradition” . This highly popular and highly rated 2 hour Christmas production runs from December 13th to December 26th. For the runners, there is the 2nd annual Savannah Reindeer Walk/Run 8K on December 17, 2011 at Hutchinson Island. Also, you can take a hayride at Fort Stewart at Holbrook Pond Recreation Center.

The holidays wouldn’t be complete without “Jingle Bells”, composed by Savannah native James S. Pierpont or without hearing “Baby its Cold Outside” sung by Johnny Mercer.  Savannah is known for its hospitality and food! Christmas dinner is no exception. It is another opportunity to feast with family and friends on local favorites such as Savannah red rice, ham, turkey, sweet potato casserole and pecan pie for desert.  Enjoy the holidays and their many traditions and celebrations. Stop n Stor wishes their customers, family and friends the Merriest Christmas and the best for the New Year!

Being a Part of the Community-2011 Fort Stewart Vendor Fair

Stop n Stor was proud to be a vendor at the 2011 Fort Stewart Vendor
Fair which was held on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at Club Stewart. The vendor
fair was sponsored by The Liberty County Chamber of Commerce  and DRASH.

It was a great event with 70 vendors from communities surrounding Fort Stewart .  Over 600 people attended the event to get information about selling to and working with government agencies. Vendors and sponsors provided door prizes and other prizes totaling over $1500! One lucky participant won $250 in cash via the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce passport contest! The entertainment for the event was provided by local performers, Acoustic Rhythms. It was a fun and successful event!

Stop n Stor is proud to be a member of the Fort Stewart community.  Stop n Stor looks forward to being a part of more community events in the future.

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2011 Fort Stewart, Georgia Vendor Fair

2011 Fort Stewart Vendor Fair sponsored by Liberty County Chamber of CommerceStop N Stor will be participating in The Liberty County Chamber of Commerce  2011 Fort Stewart Vendor Fair on Tuesday, August 30, 2011. The event is sponsored by DRASH, a leading supplier of military supplies. Fort Stewart  is home to the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division and its 23,000 soldiers. This event gives vendors the opportunity to market their business to Fort Stewart and the surrounding areas. There will be a chance to meet with over 800 government purchasing card agents at the event. The 2009 event, hosted in Fort Stewart had nearly 2000 participants! The vendor fair starts at 8:00am at Club Stewart, 1020 Hero Rd, Building #405.

The theme of this year’s event stays with “Shop, Save & Support” your local businesses. Dollars spent locally stay in the local economy through taxes, payroll and other expenses.  There will also be classes for both participants and vendors starting at 8am that will help a business in selling to government entities as well as training in building business relationships.  There will also be door prizes and give-aways throughout the day, including the “Passport to Winnings” sponsored by The Liberty County Chamber of Commerce.

Stop n Stor  is very excited to be a vendor in this year’s Fort Stewart Vendor Fair.  Stop by our booth for a chance to win a $50 Wal-mart gift card!  Stop n Stor realizes the importance of reaching out to the community of Fort Stewart and its surrounding areas. Stop n Stor offers a 10% Military discount. See you next week at the 2011 Fort Stewart Vendor Fair!

Back to School

Back to School
Image courtesy of musicteachershelper.com

It’s that time of year again. It is the three words that kids dread to hear: “Back to School”.  Wasn’t it only a few weeks ago that school was letting out for the summer? Get ready for football games, homecomings and the changing of the seasons! The schools in the Liberty and Chatham Counties will be starting back in the next few weeks. In fact, Liberty County Schools  start back on Thursday, August 4, 2011. The Savannah-Chatham County schools start back on August 22nd, except for Groves High School, which starts on August 8, 2011. The 3 elementary schools at Ft. Stewart also start back on August, 8, 2011.

Savannah area colleges and universities will start their classes in the next few weeks. It is hard to believe that it is time for the fall semester to start again!  Armstrong Atlantic State University  begins their fall semester on August 15, 2011. Savannah State University  starts classes on August 11, 2011. The Savannah School of Art and Design  starts their classes later on September 12, 2011.

How does self-storage and back to school time complement each other? Self storage is a perfect match for college students. Students can store their personal belongings in a self-storage facility near their college or university. This alleviates the need to move the items collected over the school year back and forth from home when the semester or school year is over. Students tend to accumulate lots of memorabilia over the course of their school year.  Having a self-storage unit gives the student a sense of privacy and security for their belongings that they just might not get when they have to move the items home. Self-storage facilities offer a flexible (month-to-month) renting schedule which is perfect for students who could just be storing their items for a few months. Renting a self-storage unit is a perfect solution for students who are traveling abroad for a semester or a year. Also, the time after college graduation is a time of major transitions for students. Recent graduates can store the items from their college dormitories or apartments in storage units until they get “settled” into their new jobs, apartments or cities. Storing items for a few months in between semesters or even post-graduation is the ideal solution for college students’ transitional needs.

Stop n Stor wishes all students a safe, enjoyable and happy school year!

Liberty County, Georgia Chamber of Commerce

Stop N Stor is honored to be a member of the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce .  This Chamber of Commerce plays a vital role in promoting the communities and big and small businesses of Hinesville, Flemington, Midway, Riceboro, Walthourville, Gum Branch and Allenhurst. The headquarters of the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart is also located partially in Liberty County. Hinesville is the Liberty County government seat and home of 3 Stop N Stor locations. According to Leah Poole, Executive Director, “The Liberty County Chamber of Commerce is proud to represent 450+ member businesses in Liberty County. Our members realize that through the Chamber, they can accomplish collectively what no one of them can do individually.”

What is a purpose of a chamber of commerce? According to the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce website, a chamber of commerce promotes legislation that retains & supports existing business, promotes tourism, industrial recruitment and encourages long-range community planning and development. Through membership in the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce, business owners can receive networking outlets, exposure for their business via publications, events and business member referrals, community involvement and advocacy for their businesses with local, state and federal government. The Liberty County Chamber of Commerce provides discounts to members as well as offers an outlet to purchasing health care insurance through small business health insurance products.

The Liberty County Chamber of Commerce has members that help foster Georgia’s Work Ready and Entrepreneur Ready programs. The Georgia Work Ready program, founded in 2006 by the governor and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, is the first of its kind. The program encourages improving job training and marketability of Georgia’s workforce while driving economic growth for Georgia. The Entrepreneur Ready program promotes Georgia as a great place to build a new business or move one’s current business.

The Liberty County Chamber of Commerce sponsors ribbon cutting and ground breaking events, community involvement and business training and networking events . They play a crucial role in making Liberty County grow and prosper. Liberty County Chamber of Commerce sponsors and annual golf outing that Stop N Stor was proud to be a participant in as well as the recent ribbon cutting ceremony at the  new 746 Hwy 196 EG Miles Parkway Stop N Stor location. The Liberty County Chamber of Commerce has helped Stop N Stor immerse their business into the Hinesville community. Since joining the Chamber of Commerce in 2008, Stop N Stor has had the opportunity to be involved in community networking events and advertising in chamber publications. They have created a unique tight-knit community in Hinesville and Stop N Stor is extremely proud to be a member of the chamber.