In 1987 — recognizing the importance of preserving memories and school tradition — President Ronald Reagan declared the first week in October as National Yearbook Week. Fast-forward to today and this week is still celebrated by schools across the country. You can help make this a special time for students and staff by planning some fun and unique activities.
If someone is going above and beyond, has conquered a new skill, or is showing perseverance despite obstacles, write a heartfelt note acknowledging their accomplishments. If you’re online, send your student an email and add a personalized GIF. It brightens a student’s day to be noticed and will encourage them to keep up the good work.
Start an interactive memory wall that features favorite snapshots of yearbook staff or volunteers working hard, as well as notes of fun memories. Make sure to add to the wall regularly so that it grows throughout the year. If you’re working online, create a Facebook post and have your staff members comment with memories or notes. At the end of each week, take a moment to read the memories and express appreciation for your hard-working staff. At the end of the year, you might even consider adding featured snippets from the memory wall to the yearbook to show your gratitude.
A trip down memory lane
Whether the school has been around for 5 years or 50, it can be fun for current students to look back at past yearbooks and see how the building, staff and styles have evolved. If you’re online, you can upload the photos to a newsletter or create a blog post. If you’re in person, set up a table with selected books for people to flip through during break periods or at library times. This activity builds school spirit and adds to the excitement about the creation of the current year’s yearbook.
“Guess the staff” photo game
Do you have staff that has been working at the school for a while? If so, dig up old photos and post them on your social channels without names. If you’re in person, you can invite everyone to stop by the display and guess who the staff member is. It’s a fun activity for all as some staff look exactly the same throughout the years and others look completely different.
Celebrate World Smile Day
Have you scheduled your School Picture Day? World Smile Day is the first Friday in October and just happens to fall during National Yearbook Week. This is the perfect opportunity to remind families to participate in Picture Day this year because of pictures are necessary for yearbook creation! If you want to stay digital, you could include a quick blitz in a digital newsletter to families. No matter what, this is a great reason to get people to smile big for the camera!
Create social media buzz by encouraging families to post old yearbook photos. Looking back at the styles and notations can be hilarious while also helping connect generations virtually.
Student of the week
You probably know a local business that has an employee of the week or month. This helps boost morale and encourages loyalty, all things you want for your yearbook staff as well. That’s why you should consider a similar program for your team. At regular intervals (week or month, your choice), announce the committee member who will be featured, post their picture in an online newsletter or on a wall and express why they were nominated. You might even go one further and provide them with a sheet noting the award and a letter of recommendation they can add to their resume or college applications.