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Essential Yearbook Sections: Part III - Clubs, Actvities, and Student Life

The Student Life Section defines the activities that fill students time, keeping them busy and helping to raise school spirit.

For the past two days, we’ve discussed some of the essential yearbook sections, including a senior section and a sports section. And while sports are an important component for most every school, clubs and extracurricular activities also make up a large portion of student life.

Every school has different clubs and activities. These might include student council, the school newspaper, SADD, language clubs, and of course, yearbook! Some schools even offer a wide variety of alternative clubs, such as the robotics club, a stock market club, or even a Bollywood club. It’s all about your school’s unique student body and their interests and passions! Whatever your school has, it’s important to make sure you give each group a chance to shine in the yearbook.

Student life is composed of clubs and extracurricular activities, but don’t forget about those that don’t always fall into a category – like National Honor Society, spring musicals, and jazz band.
Image source: Flickr CC user eagle102.net.

THE BASICS

  • Offer brief descriptions: For many clubs, the purpose is very clear in the name. However, some are more obscure: some readers may have no idea what either Model UN or Youth Summit were or what they did. Provide a very brief description of what the club was and what their activities were so people can get an idea of why they were important. This will not only help to make the student life section crystal clear, it could also inspire students to join in the upcoming year.
  • Not everything is a “club”: There are some activities or responsibilities within the school that don’t necessarily fall into the “club” category, but are an imperative part of student life. This might include things like the student-run store, National Honor Society, quiz team, theater crews, and band and choir (if they are not part of the academic curriculum). These activities are essential for painting the picture of what everyday student life was like. Those that spent every afternoon selling gum, folders, and school swag out of the store, or those academically-inclined students that were inducted into NHS. Each deserves to be recognized and appreciated. These activities should be mixed in with the clubs and fairly represented.
  • Give everyone credit: Don’t leave any stone unturned, and just like sports, make sure that each club and activity receives equal attention. Ensure that you have not left anyone in the dark, even if it is those midnight meetings for Dungeons and Dragons. No matter how big or small the activity, each kept the school going. Each had an impact on all students, whether or not they were apart of the club or event. After all, dances would never be put together without Student Council governing the school, exchange students wouldn’t be able to come to town without the help of the language clubs, and the school couldn’t raise some of its money without the great theater performance that brought in hundreds of community members.

FORGET-ME-NOTS

  • Club contributions: Provide content on the contributions and achievements each club or activity made. Talk to members of the club, to the leaders, to the faculty advisors. They will have the best and most pertinent information. For example: for yearbook club, the contribution itself was obviously the yearbook. Tell all about how the yearbook theme was conceptualized, how it was designed, and what kind of work went into making it. Another example: Student Council, along with governing the student body, generally also takes on a number of charity events. These could be things like serving Thanksgiving dinner at a homeless shelter, trick-or-treating for canned goods, or volunteer Christmas caroling. Show the work the council did not only for the school, but the community at large.
  • Pictures, pictures, pictures: A good starting point is to capture club meetings, lunchtime booths manned by club members, and group photos. Don’t forget to include the “action shots” – the outdoors club hiking trip, memorable scenes from the theater, pep club lifting everyone’s spirits at the pep rally, etc. Don’t forget to label who’s who in each photo, as well.

School isn’t all about book learning, after all – it’s also about the hands-on learning that clubs and student groups can provide. Make sure the yearbook speaks volumes about the power of these organizations!

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for Part IV – the Underclassman Section!

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