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Survival 101: Publications

Inside look at the AFS publications class
Survival 101: Publications
Lauren Washington ’26


In the Abington Friends School’s Publications class, students travel to a remote island where they fend for themselves and compete in various team challenges. Every three days the students vote to send a losing team member home. The last person standing wins 1 million dollars. 

Just kidding! However, our theme for the 2023-2024 yearbook is  Survival Guide.  Unfortunately, we did not travel to an island or compete against each other. The farthest place we traveled was to the Abington Art Center for our staff picture.  

Publications stand out from the roster of classes usually offered. After signing up for your five core classes of science, math, language, English, and history you are free to choose from a variety of electives; including Publications. 

First, you meet the yearbook staff who are your fellow peers, and participate in a few icebreaker activities including the strengths finder quiz and the compass points to help find strengths and weaknesses for work ethic. Next, our teacher Toni Vashling taught us about some of the tricks and tips for designing such as alignment, typography, contrast, and repetition.

At the beginning of the year, we start with a meeting in Toni’s office and decide on the topic of the yearbook. This past year, we narrowed it down to a candy or survival guide theme. We chose to do a survival guide to incorporate the twists and turns of the AFS community.

For the year-long class, you will design, write, and edit yearbook pages on the Treering platform. Lots of pictures are taken for content and interviews are placed into a double-page spread layout. From there, we edit approximately 150 pages until we see the confetti fall in Treering to show that we have completed the publication.  

Overall, I would recommend taking a publications class because it’s an outlet from academic classes and will allow you to express yourself creatively.

Vashling said “This group of students created this book on their own, I hardly touched the book!”.  

Oh yeah, and you also get to see a sneak peek of the upcoming yearbook before anyone else gets to. 

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