By Dillon Thomas

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– Smoky Hill High School students returned to class on Friday to register for the 2018- 2019 school year.

During registration families are given the opportunity to purchase yearbooks, not only for their own children, but for others in need as well.

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Through the “Smoky Cares” initiative, parents can buy a set of discounted yearbooks so long as one goes to a student who may not be able to afford one, at the school year’s end.

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“(Yearbooks are) the only true history of a school,” said Carrie Faust, journalism adviser at Smoky Hill. “If it is not covered in the yearbook, it didn’t happen, because people don’t remember after years.”

Carrie Faust (credit: CBS)

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Yearbooks at Smoky Hill start at $70 each. They are almost 300 pages long complete with full-photo spreads on glossy, color pages.

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With such high quality books, and so much content, many cannot afford a copy. Faust said only 50 percent of students at the school purchase one.

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With “Smoky Cares,” the program is able to give yearbooks to some deserving students who wouldn’t otherwise receive one.

Carrie Faust and Madison Boyd (credit: CBS)

The counseling office identifies kids who qualify, and discreetly gives them their book, which was purchased by an anonymous donor.

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“(Recipients are) kids who not only would love to have a yearbook, but, kids who have given back to the Smoky Hill community, who have worked hard to be where they are, and graduating,” Faust said.

Madison Boyd (credit: CBS)

“The fact that we do have the Smoky Cares program is really important, and a nice thing to do,” said Madison Boyd, a senior on the yearbook staff. “When (recipients) are 30 years old, they will be able to look back at it. Smoky Cares is showing them that they matter here, too.”

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Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.

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