As students open the cover of their yearbook and flip through the first few pages, they'll discover something called the opening copy. The words on the page set a tone for the yearbook by encapsulating the mood and sentiments of the student body. The copy may be written by a senior member of the yearbook staff, or quote a poem or song which has meaning. Whatever type of copy is chosen, the goal is that the words reverberate with the reader.

Description of the School

Schools have a unique quality that students and faculty come to know intimately on a daily basis. These characteristics make the school indelible in the hearts and minds of the people who walk through the front door each school day. Create descriptive copy that embodies those characteristics. If the school was under construction at the start of the year, the opening copy might read "We walked into a lobby torn apart. Exposed pipes and insulation dangled from the bare ceiling." Another example is to describe the state of the school. For example, if the auditorium chairs had not been reupholstered in thirty years, the copy might read, "On the first day of school, we sat in the same chairs as our parents and maybe even grandparents before us."

Detail the "most popular" things that occurred during the school year. List the number-one song, movie and television show. Detail major events that occurred both nationwide and in your local community. Include items such as championships won by school teams. Depending on your deadline with the yearbook printer, you'll have to end the list of popular events late in the third or early in the fourth quarter. However, listing of these items in the opening copy serves as a nostalgic look back at the year you all experienced together.

Student Interviews

Ask students throughout the school to encapsulate how they feel about the school in a phrase or sentence. Then, select the copy you find the most engaging and interesting of your responses. For example, students might say, "the best volleyball team in the state" or another student might say "the parking lot with the smallest spaces ever!" Each phrase should speak to the heart of your school. By getting different perspectives from students, their voices actually write the opening copy.

Song or Poetry

Select the words of a song or piece of poetry that speak to the students of your school. One idea is choosing the words of the "prom song." Another idea is selecting a poem that is studied by students in English class. You might even choose to hold a contest offering the opening copy to the student who writes the best song or poem. Be sure to cite the original source of the work whether it's published or written by a fellow student.

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