BY CHRISTINA MAYO @ MIAMI HERALD
JUNE 13, 2019 07:00 AM, UPDATED JUNE 13, 2019 07:00 AM
ORIGINAL POST: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/education/article231490058.html
A school yearbook is important. Yearbooks are cherished. They are tradition.
Excitement builds throughout the school year especially before the big reveal. And then, when books are in hand, students quickly search for their photos and those of their friends. They celebrate.
At Richmond Heights Middle School, students have not experienced this for seven years.
But this year, the yearbook is back with support of the Motivate Miami Team from Leadership Miami, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and The Children’s Trust-funded Be Strong International program.
It all started with a conversation between the school’s Be Strong Youth Enrichment Director Celida Hernandez and Principal Larhonda Donaldson.
“Ms. Donaldson told us that the kids had done a survey and that many of the students were interested in taking photography lessons,” Hernandez said. “She told us that the school had not had a yearbook in the past seven years. So it all started on that day. We had a dream!”
Be Strong was invited to share their club members’ dream with several Leadership Miami teams, all of whom were looking for a project, Hernandez said.
“Motivate Miami selected Be Strong, adopting the Be Strong club members’ dream to give all the RHM students a yearbook. The Motivate Miami team members fund-raised throughout the year, paid for printing costs and helped the kids learn and operate the software,” Hernandez said.
“The school was able to hire a professional photography teacher and lend many hands to help the Be Strong club RHM members produce their own yearbook. And with the help of our outside sponsors, Be Strong purchased high quality cameras and computers.”
Beginning in August 2018, club members learned about photography and took photos. For the second semester, between January and April, the students learned what it means to produce a yearbook.
They received guidance from their photography teacher, Sasha Jordan, who worked with club members many hours over many weeks and the Motivate Miami team.
“Our students were the ones who put it together, selecting and editing from thousands of pictures, those that made it to the final proof,” Hernandez said. The mission also involved copy editing and meeting production deadlines.
At a special ceremony May 3, the 2018-19 Be Strong club presented the yearbook to all the students at Richmond Heights Middle.
Miami-Dade Public School Board Member Lawrence Feldman, members of MDCPS District 7, and Bevone Ritchie, The Children’s Trust senior program manager, were in attendance.
“It’s been an amazing experience for everyone,” Hernandez said. “It was a dream come true!”