Archive for Thursday, October 6, 2005

In Living Color

LMS yearbook sheds black-and-white image

October 6, 2005

The Lansing Middle School yearbook will step out of its black-and-white past and into a world of color in 2005-06.

For the first time, LMS will have an all-color yearbook. Yearbook staffers said they were trying out color this year "because it's cool" and "there was a real good deal on it, too."

The LMS yearbook, The Paw Print, is being put together this year by a group of 10 students, all of whom happen to be girls this year. Yearbook sponsor Kathy Ray said students must be nominated by a teacher and be in eighth grade to become a yearbook staff member.

At the middle-school level, yearbook isn't a class; the staff meets during a study hour before school. Therefore, the students have only 20 minutes a day to work on the book, Ray said. However, she said this year's staff was getting the ball rolling early, gathering pictures and working on layouts. Last year, Ray said, some students waited until the deadline day to begin their layouts. Students have staggered deadlines - one per month in December, January, February and March - to finish the 56 pages of the yearbook, Ray said.

"This group has been very good," Ray said.

Despite Ray's confidence, one staff member was feeling the pressure already.

"It'll be a race to make sure we get our pages done," said Jennifer Totleben.

Ray said she could understand Totleben's anxiety.

"It's stressful for them," she said. "They're 13 years old. It's their first experience with deadlines and responsibility."

The students are responsible for writing all of the stories and captions, taking pictures, designing layouts, editing the content and choosing a theme and a cover. This year's theme is "In the Spotlight."

In addition to the typical responsibilities, the yearbook staff also coordinates school picture days. Ray said the staff collects the money and delivers the pictures for individual, club and makeup picture days. They also set up the class picture pages in the yearbook, typing in all of the names and matching names to the right pictures.

Yearbook staff member Bryonna Pitts said she was working on two pages of seventh-grade class mug shots, the principals' page and a page about a day in the life of two students. She said she would follow the two students around to their classes and take pictures of them. Bryonna said she could choose any two students, but she planned to pick a boy and a girl, each in sixth-grade.

"I'm picking sixth-graders because they're not going to be in the yearbook that much," she said.

Bryonna's reasoning follows a principle Ray said she tries to teach the staff: Be inclusive.

"I try to get them to see how many different kids they could get in the yearbook," Ray said.

This year, in addition to including as many students as possible, the staff bought Associated Press photos and will feature them on a page about the year in review, which will include coverage of Hurricane Katrina. Ray said this is only the first time the staff has bought AP photos; the first time was in 2001-02 for a page about 9-11, she said.

The yearbook will be distributed on the last day of school. Cost is $20, up from $17.50 last year, to cover increased costs, including color printing, Ray said. Students have until Dec. 9 to order the book.

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