Senior Appreciation Day: Raise Money for Your Yearbook!

Senior Appreciation Day – or Senior Escort Day, as my school lovingly referred to it – is a time-honored tradition for every senior class. It’s a great way to bring different grades together, and for the seniors to give a fun-filled, lasting contribution to the school. It’s also an excellent way to provide some serious cash flow for your yearbook!

The basic premise is that underclassmen bid on different seniors that they would like as their personal servants for a day. If the underclassman is the “winner” of that particular senior, it is the duty of that senior to walk the student to every class, carry their books, take them to lunch, and whatever else the underclassman can think of.

A senior and an underclassman pose for an after-school photo.
Image source: Flickr user John Martinez Pavliga

Of course this day is not to be taken too seriously – it’s a light-hearted way to raise money, have some fun, get to know the underclassmen, and grab some great yearbook content. I fondly remember saving my lunch money for an entire month, only to blow it bidding on the hottest senior guy – every year from 7th grade to junior year. But I digress…

Senior Appreciation Day can be a real money-maker, depending on the thought and effort you put into it. The goal is to raise enough money to lower the price of the overall yearbook, and create some fun memories and photos to go inside.

BEFORE THE EVENT

The first step is picking the perfect day for the event. Ours was always Valentine’s Day, or the closest we could get to it. Because, let’s be honest, this day is a great opportunity for underclassmen to finally have the chance to actually talk to their senior crush… and what better way to exploit – ahem, I mean embrace – that than by choosing the most romantic day of the year.

Once the day is determined, it’s best to start raising money for an entire month beforehand.  That way you’ll be able to build hype, competition, and hopefully more money! Set up a lunchtime booth where you have a list of all participating seniors. At the booth you’ll collect money and hand out raffle tickets. The other half of the ticket will go in the box with the underclassman’s name and homeroom, and the senior they are hoping to win.

Since it’s an understanding that every senior is going to participate in the day, encourage that same cooperation when it comes to running the booth. Each day at lunch, you’ll need one to two participants to help. They should possess some level of school spirit, as they encourage every student passerby to forfeit Taco Tuesday and use their money bid on a senior slave instead.

From there, the rest of the money-raising month is pretty easy. The students will start their own forms of friendly (and maybe not-so friendly) competition. And your job will be to keep all tickets and funds organized… before choosing the winners. You can do this by most money spent, or the more fair way of picking out of a hat.

THE DAY OF THE EVENT

When Senior Appreciation Day finally arrives, gather all the seniors before homeroom and start the day off right! Pass out a flower  to each senior to give to his or her freshman escort. Then send the seniors on their merry way with the name and homeroom of each underclassman.

A funny senior costume, complete with book-carrying sack.
Image source: Flickr user Alexandre Normand

The rest of the day will unfold into a stream of laughter, silliness, fun, and some probable shyness.

Your job will be to take a swarm of pictures – this could be a huge undertaking depending on your senior class size. It will also be important to obtain quotes from each participating underclassman. Of course, you’ll have to pry them from their senior cutie long enough to get some honest answers.

AFTER THE EVENT

After the day of the event, you’ll have collected some great content to page together a unique part of the yearbook’s senior section.

Start by including the day’s most memorable photos – they could be the “best” dressed costume, the most extravagant underclassman lunch, or a senior being forced to do a task for their underclassman.

Senior changing underclassman's tire.

Senior servant changing an underclassman’s tire.
Image source: Flickr user USGA-Humphreys

Next, piece together memorable quotes from the underclassmen. Since the rest of the senior section is all about the seniors’ journey and how they see themselves, this will be the one chance to show the seniors how they are seen through others’ eyes.

Overall, remember to incorporate all the whimsy and fun that Senior Appreciation Day brings, leaving everyone with lasting memories for years to come!

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