Who knew? Put cameras in the hands of teenagers, tell them you’re going to display the pictures, and you’ve got some fun READ posters on your hands. You can even do this on the cheap with no software!
I use to stage student READ posters myself. They were ok. But someone mentioned turning the cameras over to the kids, and the posters are SO much better. They take the pictures, and I use picnik.com to edit, add effects, and add text. I display them in the library and around the school as well. I love seeing students stop and talk about the posters, then ask if they can have one too!
Last year I took it one step further – I had a READ poster contest. Students had to take the picture and do the editing on picnik.com themselves. The winner would get a big poster displayed in the media center and 2 free movie tickets. My expectations were low, but I was hopeful. I decided in my advertising to use the READ poster that sparked it all – a breakdancer in the library. It was like I issued a challenged to all the b-boys in the school! I got amazing entries and I’m looking forward to doing another contest next month.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
1. Give kids advice on framing, what works well, space to write READ, but then turn them loose. Let them take the pictures. They like their posters so much more.
2. Include teachers and make it personal. I had one teacher dress up as Frankenstein, one in a wedding veil, one doing a karate move – anything that makes kids stop and look. The kids have also gotten the staff involved – from the school officer to the head custodian.
3. Cost: If you have a color printer, you can easily make mini-posters on the cheap. We’re lucky to have a poster printer in the technical drafting department, so I pay $6 per poster for the big ones. Maybe there’s a business that will cut you a deal.
4. Don’t take it too seriously. The fun ones are what make kids come in here asking when I’m holding the next READ poster contest!
Hope to see everyone at COMO!
Collins Hill High School