Many students appreciate when parents recognize their accomplishments, and publishing a yearbook message makes your praise permanent. Methods for placing a message, often called a recognition or tribute ad, into a yearbook vary by school or organization. You should expect to pay for the space, since recognition ads are usually a source of revenue. Check with your organization for pricing options and guidelines for what may be included. Once you know the specifics, it's time to get creative.
Quotes and Song Lyrics
Most recognition ads contain some type of quote, whether from a famous individual, family member, music artist or movie. You could also include a quote from a religious text. Consider quotes that are meaningful to your child, perhaps an inside joke or saying that is common to your family. Keep in mind that your recognition ad still falls under copyright restrictions, since it is considered publishing a written work. According to the Student Press Law Center, it is best to use only one or two lines from a previously published work, such as a song, movie or book. You should probably obtain permission from the original artist if you want to use more than one or two lines.
Notes From Family Members
Including a note from mom, dad, brother, sister, grandma, grandpa or even the family dog adds substance to your recognition ad and gives other readers insight into your relationship. Remember that anyone purchasing a yearbook will see the message, and you cannot go back and change it in the future. Stick to positive comments and avoid mentioning boyfriends or girlfriends of your child. Ask your school or organization how many words you are allowed to have in the ad; you want to make sure your entire message can be printed.
Stories separate one recognition ad from another and add a personal touch to the message. Many recognition ads look and sound the same -- for the most part, all parents love their children, are proud of them and know they will do great things in the future. A memorable recognition ad will depart from formula and be personal in a way that fits the child. For example, tell a story from their childhood that foreshadows their accomplishments as an older student, or that points to their plans for the future. Check with your child to see if there are any stories they would prefer you not put in writing.
Yearbooks employ both visual and verbal storytelling techniques, and yearbook staffs typically plan photographs and written content to match on every page. Take a similar approach with your recognition ad by selecting photos that match a particular topic or theme and framing your writing around that theme. For example, if your child is a sports enthusiast, you might use photos of him holding or playing with different types of balls and write about how you have "had a ball" with him while he was growing up.