Junior staff program at Southwest Christian helps yearbook coverage
Written by Kristin Campbell
Covering a pre-K through 12th grade school spread out through two buildings can be daunting for a yearbook staff. But one off-hand suggestion from a yearbook staff member two years ago simplified our coverage, while also grooming future staff members at the same time.
My staff at Southwest Christian School in Fort Worth, Texas, was complaining one day about verifying the names of all of the elementary school kids in the photos. One of my seniors said we just need junior yearbook staffers who we can call on. I proposed the idea to the administration, and they agreed to let us try it.
With that, our junior yearbook staff program was born to help cover the 950 students on our two campuses.
For the 2009-10 school year, we began a pilot program with four junior yearbook staff members from the elementary campus and four junior yearbook staff members from the middle school. Students were selected through an application process and teacher recommendations, much like high school staff.
The procedure involved our two editors going to the elementary campus to meet with the elementary staff members once a week. The middle school staffers come in to the yearbook class to shadow the upper class staff members because they are all on same campus. All staff members get together once a month.
Traditionally at Southwest Christian, yearbook staff members had been only juniors and seniors. Now, it is not only open to freshmen and sophomores, it is open to students all the way down to sixth grade. All staff members – even the elementary school students – have a sales quota for ads.
The success of the pilot program led to the continuation of the program for this school year. We have increased the staffers to six at the elementary campus, and, all of the sixth graders who were on staff last year are on the middle school yearbook staff this year.
And the coverage of our entire campus has never been more complete.