Nothing brings back memories of some of the most important years of our lives like the photos in a high school yearbook. As media coordinator for Whiteville High School, Belinda Collins supervises the yearbook staff in producing the “Sandspur,” Whiteville High’s annual publication.
When she took on the role a few years ago, one of the challenges was the eclectic collection of old cameras that they had been assigned. They were all different, and the learning curve for each made getting new yearbook staff members up to speed difficult. They start taking photos on the first day of classes, and precious moments in time that they thought had been recorded sometimes didn’t come out as well as they’d like.
Collins applied for and received a grant to purchase three Panasonic Lumix cameras, which are intuitive to use, and take great photographs. She asked a local expert, Fuller Royal, to fix the settings so that the staff would be able to react quickly at events and activities. They’ve been a big hit with the three member staff.
“Now they can take nice, clear pictures for the yearbook that they can be proud of, and will live on for a long time,” reports Collins. “They’ve also gotten a lot of positive feedback from other students, which we think will help with recruitment. We have a student who loves photography, and although he’s a freshman, and they generally don’t have time in their schedule for yearbook, he keeps reminding me that he takes good pictures.”
Collins adds that she “would like to have a big class working on the yearbook because there are so many elements to it, from selling ads to developing a theme and writing the content; it’s a great lesson in completing a project from start to finish. And the end result, well, there’s nothing quite like a high school yearbook. You can turn the pages and it reminds you of the person you were, and it’s nice to relive those memories.”
Brunswick Electric has been providing grants for up to $2,000 for innovative classroom projects that would otherwise go unfunded. This past year, 26 local teachers received a total of $34,372 in grants. Since its founding in 1994, the program has contributed more than $800,000 to area teachers.