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city/metro editor: The individual (also known as the metropolitan, or metro, editor) in charge of the city desk, which coordinates local news-gathering operations. At some papers the desk also handles regional and state news done by its own reporters. News Reporting & Writing (Eighth Edition) by the Missouri Group. Copyright 2005. Reproduced by permission of Bedford/St. Martins.

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Teaching Tips

We are collecting tips from high school newspaper advisers nationwide on how to run student publications and deal with the issues from administrators, students and parents.

18 practical solutions to your funding problems

Valerie Kibler
Newspaper Adviser
Harrisonburg (Va.) High School

The number one problem most staffs will face as they begin a new year is how to come up with the funding to pay for producing their publication.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way.  If you are committed to making it happen, the money will follow.  Your enthusiasm will spark your kids into action!  Here are some ideas that can bring in the dollars.

  1. Charge a journalism fee.  Students pay fees for many other classes in school.  Why not journalism? I charge $15 per student and use the money for staff items like reporter’s notebooks, press passes, t-shirts, business cards, portfolios, mailboxes etc.
  2. Exchange ad sales for services. Realize that you have a marketable product that you can use to barter for whatever you need.  In the past, I’ve given free advertising in exchange for t-shirts for the entire staff or a meal for the staff.
  3. Patron ads.  While you will make a considerable amount of money selling ads to area businesses, anyone can be a patron and it doesn’t cost you a thing!  Patrons can include teachers, students, parents, family from far away, or businesses who don’t really benefit from advertising in a school publication like funeral homes or huge corporations. Email me if you would like a copy of my patron ad contract.
  4. Brick project. I used fundraisingltd.net to do a personalized brick sales fundraiser and made over $6000.  You can set the parameters! The company offers a zillion options and you can work to beautify your campus by selling bricks in memory /honor of students/teachers/alumni or simply supporters of the community.  Use the bricks to build benches or planners outside, to line a sidewalk, or to decorate an area inside your building.  Easy and a cool community service project at the same time!
  5. Coffee shop. Combine efforts with a marketing program or just do this one on your own!  Sell coffee before school to students and teachers.  The delicious aroma will draw the customers directly to your room.  Make sure you aren’t breaking any food sales rules before embarking on this adventure!
  6. Working concessions at athletic or other events.  Volunteer to have your students work the concession stands instead of parents/teachers and work out a deal to receive a portion of the proceeds.  In our school, athletic teams take games inside the gym and they get 50% of the profits from the athletic booster club.  That way, teams can use the money for whatever they like and there is no favoritism shown because the kids are working for their “extras”.  Publications can be teams, too!  During football season, our band boosters work those concession stands.  Our students help them out by taking concessions up into the stands to sell.  We make $100 per game for this and the boosters bring in an additional $200-$300.  It’s a win-win!!
  7. Donations only bake sales/car washes. For back to school night or parent teacher conference days, students will run a donations only car wash or bake sale.  Teachers will park their cars in a certain area and since students aren’t in school on those days, they wash the cars!  We have also gone classroom to classroom with baked items which teachers always buy, not to mention parents who come by the welcome table at the front doors.
  8. Valentine’s Data Match. We use the I-Flurtz company which you can find online.  This is a hysterical fundraiser which the kids absolutely love in my school!  Everyone fills out the forms provided free by the company and you only pay for what you sell, guaranteeing you a profit.  We typically sell to half of the student body and it’s a hoot to watch the kids open these and find their top matches in their grade, the entire school, celebrity matches, best friend matches and ridiculously opposite matches.  Teachers can do this, too, and just get matched with other teachers.  We distribute teacher results free of charge as just a fun activity for the faculty!
  9. Percentage nights at local restaurants. Many local restaurants will now work with you to sponsor a “special night” at their business.  All you do is advertise and get people to go to that restaurant on a specified date that you’ve worked out in advance and the restaurant will give you a percentage of their income that night.  We’ve already scheduled dates for this fall with our local Cici’s Pizza, Smoothie King and Chili’s and are waiting to put dates on the calendar for about fifteen more locations.  Again, a win-win endeavor since the restaurant will have greater traffic and you will make easy money.  Can be a terrific bonding experience for  your staff, too, as they wait tables together or stand outside the restaurant with posters trying to get customers to come in and dine!
  10. Selling water/healthy snacks in room.  If you can’t sell candy bars anymore, go healthy!  Kids will buy water, granola bars, crackers etc.  Be careful to get approval for this one first and don’t sell during the hours lunch is being served.  We can generally profit $100-$150 per week!  Ask Chad Rummel how kids in Oakton love those Ozark lollipops!!!
  11. Madden, Guitar Hero, DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) tournaments.  These involve a population at your schools that often times aren’t going to ball games or participating in ANY after school events.  Host a Guitar Hero tournament and watch those kids come out of the woodwork to pay an entry fee and compete at what they know so well.  It’s amazing to watch one of these events!!!!
  12. Hypnotist (Tom Deluca) Bring a hypnotist to your school and run an evening fundraiser.  We had Tom Deluca a few years ago and he was absolutely amazing!  I’ve NEVER in 21 years seen the entire student body pay attention as closely as they did to this one!
  13. Womanless beauty pageant. Get your guys involved in this elaborate and hysterical event.  Don’t ask for volunteers, make the guys feel as if they are representing a group.  Have a “Mr. National Honor Society”, a “Mr. Junior Class”, a “Mr. Faculty”.  Get as many as you can.  The more you have in the competition, the more spectators you will have to come view it!  Run it like a real pageant….evening gown, casual wear, interview…have judges, a crown, a money prize, a sash!  Do it up right!
  14. Regular beauty pageant.  Beauty is a big venue!  Again, girls can compete for the coveted title of “Ms. Anytown High School”.  Run it just like real pageants are run.  Girls will be really competitive and you will need to cover your bases where scoring is concerned!  We did this annually when I taught in Marion and would make over $3000 on a packed auditorium every year!
  15. Variety show/ talent show. Use the talent you have in your school and sell tickets!  Can work in conjunction with the drama or music departments and showcase student and/or faculty talent!
  16. Longaberger Basket B-I-N-G-O. Use this trendy event to attract your community into your school for a Saturday evening of fun!  Find a Longaberger Basket consultant to order 25 baskets that are popular at that time, then have your kids get businesses to sponsor those baskets (pay the cost of them).  Kids can then fill the baskets with a theme item (like a chocolate lover’s basket, a reading basket full of books, a Christmas basket full of ornaments, a college student’s basket full of dorm room supplies – you get the idea).  Sell food, have raffles in between rounds and make it a lively evening!  We do 25 games for $25 and made over $3000 last fall!  I’ve seen the Vera Bradley variation on this, too.
  17. Pie in the Face Competition.  Get as many teachers as you can to volunteer to be pied in the face at a pep rally.  Match every teacher up with one student who will collect money for that teacher.  Only commit to putting 10 pies out there.  The top five students who collect the most money get to pie the teacher that they were collecting for.  The bottom five student collectors get pied BY the teacher.  Kids love this!  Only costs you the cost of pies, some trash bags and paper towels!!!  Every year we do this for homecoming pep rally and make over $500.
  18. Penny Wars. A great school spirit builder and money maker.  Homecoming week is again a great time for this.  Goal: Students want their class to earn the most points.  Every penny is worth a point.  So kids need to bring in as many pennies as they can for their class.  The catch?  Any silver or green money that is placed in another classes jar is SUBTRACTED from that class’s  total.  So, a dollar bill would mean minus 100 points.  I know we spent an entire weekend rolling pennies from this one year and made over $800 on the last day of the competition.  Make sure your jars are in a highly visible area!