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Yearbook sales move online, adapts to virtual learning

To accommodate virtual learning, the RBHS yearbook staff decided to move to an online platform to advertise and sell yearbooks this year. Students and faculty interested in purchasing a book can either go to the yearbook Instagram and Twitter pages for more information or head straight to yearbookforever.com to place orders. Senior advertisements, a section of the yearbook in which parents and relatives can buy a segment of a page to recognize the seniors in their family, are also available on the website. The books are $50 until Nov. 23. 

Yearbook staff advisor Therasia Brautigam said the staff chose to sell yearbooks online before the school started, so the staff could keep an organized retail system while other aspects of the academic year remained up in the air. She also said this year, she didn’t have many expectations going into the class because the norm changed drastically because of virtual learning.

“Being the advisor responsible for creating a school-wide book is a huge commitment, even without the challenges of COVID-19,” Brautigam said. “My most prominent goal now that we’ve started working on the book is to make a successful book that my students are proud of.”

Producing the yearbook requires several steps, including creating content and editing drafts. Brautigam said the biggest issue yearbook members have faced is taking photos without having students in the building. They have resorted to using Yearbook Snap, the RBHS yearbook company’s photo sharing app, where students can contribute to the book from home.

“[Yearbook Snap] allows anyone to submit photos for us to potentially use in the yearbook,” Brautigam said. “It’s a great way for us to have photos of students learning from home, participating in sports, or hanging out with friends virtually.”

Yearbook sales editor junior Emma Hake said even though Yearbook Snap has helped, her main challenge has been advertising the yearbook.

“Being the advisor responsible for creating a school-wide book is a huge commitment, even without the challenges of COVID-19. My most prominent goal now that we’ve started working on the book is to make a successful book that my students are proud of.”

Therasia Brautigam, yearbook advisor

As sales editor, she is in charge of tracking yearbook purchases and sending announcements. She said this year, the process is unlike previous cycles.

“It is hard to get the word out about purchasing a book this year,” Hake said. “[Especially] because we can’t be in person to make sales face to face.”

Hake said another issue with being virtual has been teaching new staff members. The resources the yearbook leaders can offer are limited because students do not have access to the school building. Senior Ellie Barnett, one of the yearbook editor-in-chiefs, also said leading and teaching students virtually is a tough part of the class this year. She said instead of using their typical software programs, such as Adobe InDesign and Photoshop, on desktops at RBHS, they’ve had to adapt to operating them through a virtual Windows program on their school laptops at home.

“We have to do everything remotely,” Barnett said. “This means using Indesign and Photoshop through a virtual browser. It’s also very hard to teach through Zoom when this is such a hands-on class.”

Although the class is adapting to multiple changes, Brautigam said she is glad the students are passionate about the yearbook. She said her student’s excitement was a refreshing transition into the new school year.

“It makes the process more enjoyable, especially since we only get to interact through a computer screen,” Brautigam said. “Their enthusiasm has really helped keep me motivated and positive throughout all the challenges we’ve faced so far.”

Are you going to place a yearbook order? Let us know in the comments.

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