Monthly archives for May, 2017

Balfour Announces Winners of $5,000 in Scholarships

Balfour’s American Samaritan Award winners, Sarah Jennings of Harrisonburg High School (Harrisonburg, VA) and Sanna Apolskis of Tomball Memorial High School (Tomball, TX) are presented with their $2,500 scholarships.

Balfour is honored to announce the two National Winners of its American Samaritan competition held nationwide during the 2016-2017 school year.

The winner of each division received a check for $2,500, and a commemorative plaque; honoring their achievement in creating, developing and implementing a humanitarian project.

Sarah Jennings of Harrisonburg High School, takes home the scholarship for the Junior-Senior division.

The winner of the Junior-Senior Division is Sarah Jennings, of Harrisonburg High School, Harrisonburg, Virginia. Presenting her check and plaque to her were her Balfour Yearbook Sales Representatives, Scott and Tami Stalcup, of Virginia.

“We told Sarah that Scott and I were there to present the Yearbook Yearbook Best award,” Tami Stalcup, Balfour representative said. “She was extremely surprised when Scott walked in with a super-sized check for $2,500.”

“Sarah is a very special yearbook editor who has been dedicated and committed to the yearbook, attending camp, JEA and CSPA,” Scott Stalcup, Balfour representative said. “But most importantly, she is kind, compassionate, and has a big heart.”

Tomball Memorial High School’s Sanna Apolskis is presented her scholarship check by Balfour representative Mary Beth McIver. Apolskis is the winner of the Freshman-Sophomore Division of Balfour’s American Samaritan Award.

Sanna Apolskis was surprised and delighted by the news of her scholarship winnings.

The winner of the Freshman-Sophomore Division is Sanna Apolskis, of Tomball Memorial High School, Tomball, Texas.  Presenting her check and plaque was Balfour Yearbook Sales Representative, Mary Beth McIver of Texas.

“Sanna’s parents told me she had been checking the website for weeks to see if she had won,” McIver said. “Her family came to the school for the surprise presentation, and when she saw my Balfour name badge, her face just lit up!”

Balfour’s American Samaritan is a recognition program that honors outstanding humanitarian accomplishments by students nationwide.  Every day, students across the United States exhibit extraordinary contributions by reaching out to help those in need.  Balfour is pleased to honor Sarah Jennings and Sanna Apolskis for their humanitarian efforts and achievement.

Congratulations Sarah and Sanna!

Prep for Yearbook Summer Camp

Think. Bond. Create. One of the best ways to jump-start next year’s book is to attend a summer workshop. Here are three reasons to sign up:

Theme development Whether you’ve chosen a theme or starting from scratch, a workshop is the perfect place to test drive a concept. You’ll see lots of ideas, consult with journalism experts and discover innovative ways to develop the theme throughout the book.

Staff bonding The social aspect of yearbook keeps students invested in the program. Sharing dorm space, working late into the night and goofing off together enhances the camp experience.

Creative inspiration In addition to learning about theme, design and coverage, your staffers will see stunning visuals. Cool covers, showstopper spreads and trending topics will inspire their own design and theme choices.

Bonus: Most journalism workshops are held on a university campus giving staffers an opportunity to experience a college environment. Contact your representative for workshops in your area or check our list of summer camps.

Balfour and 610 Project partner to provide yearbooks for students in Haiti

The Ecole Shalom yearbook staff opens their Balfour Planning Kit and learns how to use StudioWorks yearbook design software. Photo courtesy of The 610 Project.

It began with a conversation between friends, as any story worth telling and retelling does.

It was the beginning of the Ecole Shalom yearbook project at the Haitian American Caucus in Croix Des Bouquets, Haiti.

In the fall of 2015, Melissa Daniel Bain, the founder of The 610 Project, asked former yearbook representative Sihwa Sussman to join her to discuss a proposition. At lunch, Bain described the work she was doing with her non-profit organization.

“Melissa asked if I could help start a yearbook program for the students at a school in Haiti,” Sussman said.

When the project was presented to Mike Parker, VP of Sales for Balfour, it was a no-brainer. He was eager for an opportunity to share the joy and importance of yearbooks with the children of Haiti.

To kick off the project, board members of The 610 Project and Sussman traveled to Haiti in February 2016.

“The experience working with the staff and students in Haiti was beyond words,” Sussman said.

In addition to providing the students with school yearbooks, The 610 Project recently returned to the school with printed school portraits for each of the 450 students. Something that U.S. students take for granted, having portraits to chronicle their development, validated Haitian students’ individual importance.

Haitian students pose with their first school photos, taken by volunteers at the 610 Project on a previous trip. Photo courtesy of The 610 Project.

Photo courtesy of The 610 Project.


“Being a part of the yearbook process and having photos creates an ownership of education for these students,” Bain said. “It helps validate and create the framework for a better future.”

Just like a yearbook staff in the US, the Haitian students were trained on layout and design principles, photography techniques and Balfour’s online software, StudioWorks, where they designed their pages.

Susan Rowe, a volunteer with The 610 Project, poses with a student on a trip to Haiti in February 2017. Photo courtesy of The 610 Project.

“They were eager and fascinated by what they could do,” Sussman said. “It was an opportunity to become unbound from their circumstances.”

Bain’s passion for outreach and service inspired her to create The 610 Project, a community-driven project that is dedicated to empowering the Haitian people and helping communities succeed.

The project originated in The Shoals area of Alabama. Through their partnership with Haiti, the project provides physical and financial assistance for self-sustaining education and micro-enterprise development.

The students will receive their first shipment of yearbooks in August 2017.




Thank a Teacher!

Thank you for everything you do as a teacher. In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we offer inspirational messages about the importance of education.

“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” -Robert Frost
“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” -John Dewey
“I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.” -Lily Tomlin
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” -Benjamin Franklin

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”    -Nelson Mandela

“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” -B.B. King

“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.” -Bill Gates

“It’s the teacher that makes the difference, not the classroom.” -Michael Morpurgo

Here’s our heartfelt thanks for all of your hard work. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!