EPISD’s Brown, Charles Journalism Teachers train Students to Create Better Yearbooks

Brown and Charles middle school journalism teachers joined forces and yearbook staffs this week for a two-day camp at Brown to prepare the students to create a memorable yearbook.

Charles teacher Cristin Zuniga and Brown teacher Nancy Franklin worked with about 45 students to teach and strengthen basic skills in photography, writing and design — the tools they will need to create their respective 2016-17 yearbooks.

“My hope is that when we come in on Aug. 22, we’re not starting from scratch,” Franklin said. “They’ll come in with enthusiasm and also with some knowledge. School starts that day so that means our yearbook starts that day.”

news_2491_mThe camp serves as a bonding experience and gives the students a chance to really learn their role as yearbook staffers.

“We want the kids come out of their shell and interview people, take that perfect picture and create a story,” Zuniga said.

Zuniga and Franklin collaborate often during the school year and felt the camp would be a good opportunity for their respective students to meet and work together. The students in the camp will be deciding on one theme that both schools will use for their yearbook.

“We will come together at the end of the year with finished books so we can see how we had the same theme but came up with two different books,” Franklin said.

Jordan Burchfield, a Brown eighth-grader, joined the staff to feed his passion for graphic design and learn more about computers graphics.

“I love our yearbook — it looked amazing,” he said. “I thought it was really cool and I wanted to be a part of it.”

Nadia Nino, a seventh-grader at Charles, enjoys taking pictures and playing with the computer.

“It’s my favorite thing to do,” she said. “I figured the camp would be fun and I could get more information on the parts of the camera and how to use the computer better.”

Zuniga said they also started the camp to encourage and grow journalism at the middle school level.

“We want to be able to build interest and knowledge so they can take it on to high school,” she said.

Franklin likes the excitement and accomplishment she sees in her students’ eyes when they complete their first few pages.

“The students get in yearbook because they think it’s a fun class and they will be visible to the rest of the student body,” she said. “But what they find out is that it’s a lot of work and it’s rewarding.”