Remember the excitement you felt at the end of the year when you went to pick up your freshly published yearbook? You couldn’t wait to tear it open and see how it turned out and you couldn’t wait to start scribbling heartfelt notes to your friends.
Now imagine if everyone around you was signing books and you were just sitting on the sidelines because you couldn’t afford to buy one. Not a very happy picture, right?
Everyone deserves to have a keepsake of their school days, no matter what their economic status may be. While some families have no problem paying upfront for a memory book, others may struggling to put food on the table and have to put fun – yet important – things like yearbooks on the back burner until the tough times pass.
No kid should feel left out come yearbook delivery day just because their family can’t afford it. As a parent or yearbook committee chairperson, you can make a difference at your school and start programs or initiatives which will enable the entire student body to participate in the fun, and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Here are some creative ways you can raise money at your school to help get a book in the hands of every kid who wants – and deserves – one:
Photo booth fun – Rent an old-fashioned photo booth and have it available to students at lunch or throughout the day. Have a variety of props on hand and let the students get crazy with their friends. The catch? Every student has to donate a few dollars in order to go into the booth and to get their prints at the end. You can feature everyone’s fun poses in a special section of the yearbook, so this raises money while also creating unique content.
Host a bake sale – Food and sporting events go together like peas and carrots. Work with your school’s faculty to see if the yearbook committee can host a bake sale or lemonade stand during a big game. Make an announcement in the school paper or during morning announcements and have volunteers sign up to bring yummy treats or man the stand.
Have a school-wide book drive – One of the great things about a book drive is that you get to clean out your home library while finding new titles at the same time. Set up donation bins in the school library or around the cafeteria for a certain amount of time, then hold a big book sale once everything has been collected. Whatever books you don’t sell can be donated to your school or local library, further promoting a good cause.
Hold a themed 5K run – Promote fitness and raise money for a good cause by hosting a themed 5K run on your campus. Come up with a wacky theme that everyone can get behind like a ‘Superhero Sprint’ or ‘Jammin’ Jog’ and have students collect pledges. Bonus points if everyone wears a costume! Want to get even more creative? Set up obstacle courses and challenges for people to overcome along the way. Make sure you have a yearbook photographer on hand to get great shots of all the action for the book!
Have a teacher accept a challenge – Every school has that one faculty member that is willing to go above and beyond for their students. Reach out to this teacher and see if they’re up for a unique challenge. Set a monetary goal and if you succeed in raising the cash, that teacher will have to agree to accept whatever challenge they shook hands on. Challenges could be anything from shaving their head to having them sing a One Direction song at the next student assembly. Have fun with it!
Now that you’ve raised all this money, how do you determine who gets a yearbook? There are several ways you can go about this. You can either take the profits and deduct them from the overall cost of the books or you can set up a yearbook scholarship program where interested students must write an essay or come up with a creative page for the book in order to have their portion covered. You can get silly with the scholarships as well – remember you want everyone to have a good time and look back on their book fondly for years to come.