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Sun Sailor: Minnetonka Spanish Immersion School Highlights Diversity through Yearbook

Source: Kristen Miller, Community Editor for the Sun Sailor

At Clear Springs Elementary in Minnetonka, a yearbook editor and parent volunteer helped create a yearbook to showcase students’ uniqueness and backgrounds.

Heather Burnett has worked as a parent volunteer to support the Clear Springs Elementary yearbook for three years. Last year, she transitioned to the lead role of editor.

She chose to use the yearbook making tool TreeRing to represent the school’s focus on the importance of everyone coming together.

She learned about TreeRing from one of her counterparts at another Minnetonka elementary school, who “raved about TreeRing’s superior customer service and technology,” she said.

The main reasons she recommended TreeRing were the easy-to-use, dynamic software solution, the flexible and streamlined printing process, the bi-lingual promotional materials, the expansive catalog of cohesive themes/graphics, and the predesigned content pages that could easily be customized.

“The theme (Diversity) was chosen to represent the beautiful uniqueness all our students and how we came together as one community full of heart to get through a tough year,” Burnett said. “We used quotes throughout the book from a diverse background of famous people to support unity and belonging, along with key aspects that support it like empathy, kindness, respect, love, and character.”

Bi-lingual Yearbook Title Page

In the yearbook, text is both in English and Spanish.

Burnett shared several features that have helped support greater inclusivity for Clear Springs.

The two free customizable pages in each yearbook lets each child enjoy their moments to shine and celebrate their uniqueness. Parents along with their child can include a well-rounded picture of their child including sports, activities, accomplishments, milestones, religious celebrations, friends, family and favorite things.

  • English and Spanish promotional materials help support the Spanish immersion program.
  • TreeRing rewards customers by letting them earn free yearbooks based on volume purchasing. The school used its free yearbooks to help students who may not have been able to afford a yearbook get one.
  • TreeRing has predesigned graphics and templates that provide a framework for capturing the school’s diversity and inclusivity observances.
  • TreeRing’s software allows the editors to easily tag students in pictures so they can know how many times a student is pictured and ensures a balanced approach to photos throughout the book.
  • Account representative provided many content ideas, training modules, and blog posts, in addition to sharing what others across the country were doing.

“With all this support, I was able to think above and beyond to become aware of and use best practices of how others have made their yearbooks meaningful and special to the school and student,” Burnett said.

The Spanish immersion school is a part of the Minnetonka School District, and provides education for students to acquire second-language fluency through immersion beginning in kindergarten.

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