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Students opt for Internet over annuals

Yearbook: New history book?

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The yearbook at Murphey Middle School is dead this year.

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Westside High English teacher Rebecca Newhall looks through her 1998 yearbook. The school's yearbook likely won't make budget this year.  Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Westside High English teacher Rebecca Newhall looks through her 1998 yearbook. The school's yearbook likely won't make budget this year.

Ditto for Monte Sano Elementary.

At Josey High School, it's a question of whether to pull the plug.

And Garrett Elementary has already replaced the deceased with a new and improved version.

With about five weeks of classes remaining, the yearbook season is kicking into high gear, but at several Richmond County schools the old print keepsake has either gone away or is in bad health.

Some point to the bad economy, others to social media such as Facebook.

Westside High junior Brittany Tullis said she thinks the popularity of yearbooks might be slipping because of Facebook, which allows students to upload photos they prefer instead of school mug shots.

"I think that has a lot to do with it. Something else is the price," Tullis said. The book costs $60 at Westside. Though she loves yearbooks and would hate to see them go away, she said, the whole idea of a book is just "unappealing" to teens these days.

Monte Sano Elementary had a bright, glossy yearbook last year, but officials said they had to do away with the offering this year because fewer parents have money to dish out in the bad economy.

"I did not get one this year, but I surely want one," said Monte Sano Principal Kathryn Perrin, noting that "because parents are out of jobs this year parents are having to move in with other family members. They have a variety of things going on," and yearbooks aren't taking top priority.

Murphey Middle Principal Veronica Bolton said her school also won't have a formal yearbook this year.

"Yearbooks are costly and do not sell well," she said. "We had to cancel our yearbook last year and decided that if we do any type of memoir, we will do something in-house."

At Josey High School, the book hangs in the balance.

"Prepaid sales were very slow this year to the point where we're not sure what we're going to do," Principal Ronald Wiggins said. "I think the economy has a lot to do with it. People are just not throwing out $35 to $40."

Garrett Elementary, where the traditional hard copy yearbook hasn't existed the past two years, is embracing the digital age.

"What we do now is put it on DVD and sell it," said Garrett's principal, Paula Kaminski. "This year, we might be adding a page for students to sign it electronically like they do on the (online) obit page in the newspaper."

The DVD, she said, is about $10, and past yearbooks there have cost about $24, which she said was "too much to ask parents."

At Westside High School, a printed yearbook is available this year, but only 150 books have sold so far, compared with about 500 in past years.

"This is my first book that probably will not meet budget," said Janice Burch, who has been the school's yearbook adviser for seven years.

Today's students have more of a sense of immediacy, she said, and when they pay for a yearbook "they can't have it in their hand right now."

Looking at a picture of herself as a teacher in Westside's 1998 yearbook on Wednesday, English teacher Rebecca Newhall said "it would be very sad for me" to see yearbooks go away.

"I still go through my high school book," she said.

Uga's 'Pandora' in its final year

ATHENS, Ga. --- This year will be the last for the printed edition of University of Georgia's yearbook.

Faculty adviser Cody Ward said sales of the student-produced Pandora have declined steadily for years. Ward said not enough books will be sold to break even.

The Pandora's annual budget is about $60,000, and about $21,000 of that came from student activity fees this year.

Ward says the campus committee that allocates activity fee money told Pandora staff members last year that the yearbook would continue to get funding if at least 1,000 copies were sold.

The book sold 1,846 copies in 1999, but sales dropped to 506 copies last year.

As of Tuesday, Ward said, only 335 copies had been sold.

- Athens Banner-Herald

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audioofbeing
0
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audioofbeing 04/19/10 - 12:46 am
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0
"Garrett Elementary, where

"Garrett Elementary, where the traditional hard copy yearbook hasn't existed the past two years, is embracing the digital age."

Major props to Garrett Elementary for keeping up with the times. It's always encouraging to find people who understand that moving forward shouldn't be viewed as the death of old traditions, but the birth of new.

justus4
97
Points
justus4 04/19/10 - 07:38 am
0
0
Schools should adopt a hard
Unpublished

Schools should adopt a hard figure like 250, then only print that amount. Eventually such things will fade away and spending bad money just adds to the bigger shortfall. Get over it. Times have a changed and holding on to the past just seems like a waste of time & money.

Wrightm88
0
Points
Wrightm88 04/19/10 - 07:53 am
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I just think editors need to

I just think editors need to take a different approach. Students would buy year books if they weren't so pathetic!

I bought a Pandora from UGA last year and was very dissatisfied. There was nothing about it that reminded me of that particular year. Also, I believe this transition into the digital age has invoked many yearbook staffs to resort to computer publishing programs for page layout and design, which do cut production cost, but, when used by unskilled student staffs, compromise overall quality.

If staffs focused less on computer graphics and more on their content (Events, stories, photos, etc.), perhaps they would see an increase in sales...

Wrightm88
0
Points
Wrightm88 04/19/10 - 07:53 am
0
0
I just think editors need to

I just think editors need to take a different approach. Students would buy year books if they weren't so pathetic!

I bought a Pandora from UGA last year and was very dissatisfied. There was nothing about it that reminded me of that particular year. Also, I believe this transition into the digital age has invoked many yearbook staffs to resort to computer publishing programs for page layout and design, which do cut production cost, but, when used by unskilled student staffs, compromise overall quality.

If staffs focused less on computer graphics and more on their content (Events, stories, photos, etc.), perhaps they would see an increase in sales...

csrawill
0
Points
csrawill 04/19/10 - 09:45 am
0
0
I attend a private college in

I attend a private college in Wisconsin called Lawrence University and our yearbooks are payed for by our tuition. Our schools just puts the books out in boxes around campus and people can either pick up a yearbook or just leave the book in the box. I have no idea what happens to the left over books, I guess that they are sold to our alumni.

sstea
1181
Points
sstea 04/19/10 - 10:24 am
0
0
Yearbooks are just an

Yearbooks are just an extension of "high school clicks"...some students appear several times but the majority of students have one picture, their class picture. I think if there was a better balance of pictures more students would be interested in purchasing the book. And I'm not talking about clubs and sports because obviously if you participate in more activities you will be featured more. I'm talking about the candids - its the same students over and over. Who wants to spend 40 - 80 dollars on a book you and your friends really are not a part of. I believe the yearbook is 75.00 at my sons school this year - he doesn't want one.

Riverman1
78407
Points
Riverman1 04/19/10 - 10:58 am
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0
High school yearbooks become

High school yearbooks become more and more pleasureable as time moves on. The same with those of small colleges. At UGA it doesn't mean that much with tens of thousands of students.

AugustaVoter
2
Points
AugustaVoter 04/19/10 - 12:08 pm
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I know the yearbooks at

I know the yearbooks at Butler HS are getting a makeover this year. You have to have faculty and students in charge of it who care about the product they put out. Not just thrown together crap. They are selling at Butler for $40 and professionally done. Nothing a little research (cost) and desire (product) can't do to preserve this tradition.

sueboo418
36
Points
sueboo418 04/19/10 - 01:36 pm
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I would be curious

I would be curious AugustaVoter to know how many of those yearbooks are actually selling at Butler.

Dudeness
1542
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Dudeness 04/19/10 - 02:00 pm
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I would still want my

I would still want my yearbook if I were in highschool. They are fun to go back to here and there and were one of the highlights of my school year every year. By the way, this one line alone can help explain many of the education issues today: "the whole idea of a book is just "unappealing" to teens these days." There is no way I will raise a child without a ton of books in the household to read to them as well as for them to read themselves as they get older. I believe reading ability reflects a lot about a person and whether he or she may succeed in life.

balceroregontr
0
Points
balceroregontr 04/19/10 - 03:37 pm
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The thing about digital media

The thing about digital media is that once the way you view is gone so will your memories. An actual book doesn't need a way to view it. CDs and DVDs will go the way of 8-track tapes, cassette tapes and VHS tapes. They only way to view it will be to hold onto old technology.

AugustaVoter
2
Points
AugustaVoter 04/19/10 - 03:39 pm
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sue, based on the quality of

sue, based on the quality of past editions they haven't pre-sold many. But I am sure once the students and staff see this one they will want one. Previous editions were being printed at Kinkos, missing pages and pictures. This one is 200 pages and is being bound and printed by a book publisher.

JohnQPublic
5
Points
JohnQPublic 04/19/10 - 09:18 pm
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I have my yearbook! Class of

I have my yearbook! Class of 1970! Time marches on!

TheArmyWife
0
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TheArmyWife 04/20/10 - 08:39 pm
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0
Year book staff members are a

Year book staff members are a clique, the same "popular" kids are in the book over and over again. I think each student (most have digital cameras or cell phone cams) should be asked to submit ten photos from the year, put the best under their photo in the book. That way, the yearbook would really represent everyone's year.

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