What are you doing?
We’re making a yearbook and creating future journalists, dynamic leaders, and successful students along the way!!! Yearbooks are a tradition for many middle schools across the country, but that tradition is just beginning at The Pinnacle Charter Middle School this year. Prior to this year the college-prep middle school students had been briefly included in The Pinnacle Charter High School yearbook. But this year is different. For the first time the middle school students at The Pinnacle Charter School in Federal Heights, Colorado, are creating, designing, selling, marketing, and leading the FIRST EVER Pinnacle Charter Middle School (ONLY!!) Yearbook. But we need your help in making this project happen!
Our Cover Sketch
Why is yearbook SO important?
In a day and age when elective classes are being cut and trimmed from schools, yearbook class remains a great educational experience for all involved. Jostens, a yearbook printing company, has published a list of 30 skills students learn by being a part of yearbook/journalism classes. These include technology skills (business software, desktop publishing, photo-editing software, online design, online research), life skills (communication, leadership, time management, project management, problem solving, writing, photography, teambuilding, conflict resolution, public speaking), journalism skills (concept brainstorming, reporting, researching, copy editing, photo editing, graphic arts, public relations, media law, design), and business skills (budget planning, promotion and advertising, marketing, selling, customer relations, market research).
These skills will not only help students in middle school, but will carry them into success in high school, college, and beyond. In fact, The Newspaper Association of America in 2008 released a study showing that students who participate in their school’s newspaper or yearbook scored better on college entrance exams and demonstrated better writing and grammar than those who did not.
The yearbook students also have an opportunity to showcase their artistic, academic, and leadership talents outside of a traditional class and athletics. For many of the 32 staff members, yearbook class is their first taste at creative freedom and leadership. All five of the 8th graders in the class have been given a leadership position this year. For some of them it is their first opportunity to have such great responsibility and earn their peers’ respect.
In addition to brightening the future of the students involved in yearbook class, the yearbook helps the student body by representing everyone from school in the book. The goal of the Pinnacle Middle School Yearbook staff is to have every middle school student in the book three times. This creates a whole picture of the student body, not simply a snapshot of those most involved.
How much do you need?
We’re trying to raise $4,000. This is two-thirds of the total $6,000 we need to produce and print 250+ copies of the yearbook. The 250+ production number is important because this keeps the cost of the yearbooks to $30 per book and will provide a very small reserve to purchase one or two digital cameras for the students to use. We believe, through survey responses from students, many students will purchase a yearbook once printed. However, buying it after it is printed makes it difficult for us to front the money to print the books from our non-existent budget, especially since this is the first year of the class and product.
The Pinnacle Charter School operates grades kindergarten through 12th grade, with approximately 56 percent of students on free or reduced lunch plans. This means that asking many students to purchase something they have never seen before and do not quite know the value of is asking too much. In the past the middle school students did not have their own yearbook and thus many students did not purchase one. However, through a survey we have discovered that many students want to purchase one this year, but either do not know what a yearbook is or do not have the money.
If we are unable to order an adequate number of books, we may have to refund the yearbooks purchased so far and all of the students’ hard work and effort will be for naught. We truly believe with some generous community backing we will be able to produce an amazing book that captures the year and provides students with memories for ever.
What will the money go toward?
The money raised here will go toward printing the remainder of the unsold 250 copies of the book to keep the costs at $30 per yearbook. These yearbooks will then be sold or given to students determined to be economically unable to afford to purchase one and deserving of one by counselors, administrators, teachers, and peers.
The money we make back from the sales of the yearbooks, or that remains from this project will be used to purchase cameras for the Pinnacle Middle School Yearbook course. The staff currently has access to only one camera -- a 10-year-old camera that was graciously donated to us – to share among 32 excited student journalists. By being able to purchase more cameras the students will be able to put the photography skills they have learned to use and capture more memories of the student body for the yearbook.
What else can I do to help?
Pass this along to everyone you know! Every dollar will help us meet our goal and make our class better this year and in the future. You can also donate digital cameras you no longer use or even your time. We could always use volunteers.
- (49 days)