Written by Alyssa Wilson ~ Editor-in-Chief
A group of yearbook students from Rustburg Middle School visited the University of Lynchburg for a special tour of the campus and the resources in the Communication Studies department.
Advisor for the RMS yearbook staff, Kelly Elder wanted to bring her students on a field trip that would enrich their yearbook experience and help them to learn more about what goes into creating a piece of work that is disseminated to a wide audience, like the yearbook.
Originally, Elder wanted to take her students to the Herff Jones yearbook training in Richmond, VA at the end of September. However, Rustburg Middle School administration did not approve the field trip due to it being too far from the school.
When her request was denied, Elder decided to reach out to the University of Lynchburg in the hopes that by being closer to town, her students would be able to attend a field trip that would hopefully improve their yearbook experience.
“I hope they understand that it’s[making the yearbook] not something that’s simple. It’s a process and you have to keep working through it and refining it. I hope they enjoyed looking at the campus and getting a feel for what college might be like,” Elder says.
All of the students on staff are in the eighth grade, and for the majority of them, the yearbook was not the first elective they chose when they were making class schedules in the spring. However, they all enjoy it more than they thought they would.
“So last year I wasn’t in yearbook, but at first I didn’t choose yearbook as my elective. This year I got put in it and it’s not that bad,” says eighth grader Cherish McDaniels.
Braylen Crews was also placed in the class although now that he is a part of the staff he really enjoys editing and photography.
Crews says, “Probably my favorite part of it is being able to make it so that people can look back and think ‘Hey, I remember when I did that thing!’.”
Jacob Kraus enjoys taking photos of students in classes throughout the day and later editing the pictures before they are put in the yearbook spread. Similar to Kraus, Sarah Gerges also enjoys the photography part of yearbook.
Gerges says, “I really like using the camera. It’s fun going to classes and taking pictures with different angles.”
“I really like being able to make my own designs,” says Taylor Goff who enjoys a different side of the creative process than her peers.
Other students, like Lauren O’Shaugnessy and Fallon Grooms really enjoy the social aspect of yearbook and interviewing their peers.
“I like to see people’s perspective on stuff,” says Grooms, who is also a part of the volleyball team. She loves to interview her teammates and get photos of them during games and practices.
“I love to see people’s responses when I ask them questions,” says O’Shaugnessy. “People always give different answers than I expect.”
O’Shaugnessy also enjoyed touring the school and getting to know more about the university, as well as her peer Aaliyah Lovelace.
Lovelace was one of two students who originally signed up for yearbook as her first elective choice, so she was extra excited about being able to meet the people who write for the Lynchburg Magazine and hearing how it relates to creating the yearbook.
“I like how tied into what I do at school, because it helps me get better at what I’m trying to learn and it can make our yearbook better so that it will be a nice thing for people to have and look back on,” says Lovelace.
The students were shown a demonstration of how Critograph reporters perform interviews and work in the newsroom at the end of their tour.
Cherish McDaniels says, “I’ve enjoyed seeing what you all do and just hearing about what your everyday routine is.”
McDaniels and the other students were able to hear about how stories are split up and learn more about time management within college, which was also one of McDaniels favorite parts of the day.
The students said they learned much from their day at the University and hope to make the yearbook better because of it.