3 Story Ideas to Stay Connected During COVID-19

By Nicole Hammond, Professional Development Trainer

The yearbook will live on as the official record of the school for this year. When school returns to normal, how will the past few months be documented and remembered?

The suggestions we have heard range from “going to ignore it” to “we have to include it but not sure how.” If the COVID-19 outbreak impacted your school in a significant way, it should be included in the yearbook. We suggest focusing on how your school is handling the disruption through creativity, innovation and positivity.

“To me, it feels like being positive is the only option. Regardless of the type of school you are in, this will be a time that all of us will remember well. We can always look up all the negative outcomes, but I want to remember the ways we made the best of it.” – Trish Haun, yearbook adviser in TX.

(Read more about how a few of our advisers are creatively covering COVID-19 in their yearbooks here.)

If your school is closed for weeks or months, we suggest including a spread or two addressing the impact of the school closures, including how teachers ran classes and what students experienced at home. Here are some ideas:

1 – Information About the Virus

During this time, it’s important to provide families with useful factual information about the virus and how to stay protected from infection through as many channels of communications as possible. That includes the yearbook. There are lots of free infographics and statistics available online (from reliable sources such as cdc.gov) that you can incorporate as part of a PSA spread. Or, you may want to stay original and create some cartoons (mascot perhaps?) or other visuals of your own to illustrate things like hygiene best practices. The more creative you are, the more your readers will be engaged.

2 – What’s Happening At Home?

The majority of students are not working on the yearbook and aren’t doing any online instruction, so what ARE they doing? Let’s crowdsource some photos. Encourage families and faculty to exchange photos of their work spaces at home. It’s a personal and authentic way to keep everyone connected and feel a bit like they are all still in the same classroom. It also helps students feel more comfortable knowing that their teachers are still there for them, maintaining some of the norms they are familiar with from being in school everyday. You can also ask families to share pictures of what their kids are doing for recreation. It doesn’t all have to be school work! Capture activities from game nights, video game sessions, reading, or an arts and crafts project.

3 – Meme Away!

Memes are a great way to add some humor and perspective to your yearbook. The added bonus? You don’t need to worry about copyright! As long as they don’t contain unsuitable content, look for snippets that are relevant to what’s happening around the world. Try making a ‘Meme Collage’, or, embed them onto other pages as stickers or pop ups. Students will love them and it will add some character into the yearbook.

Please stay healthy, stay strong, and keep in touch with your Client Success Specialist as we navigate through this period.