Official Press Release
Dark Horse Comics has partnered with educational researchers from Columbia University to create The Comic Book Project, a literacy, health, and social awareness program. During The Comic Book Project, children write and design comic books related to important themes, created by youth for youth across the country.
To honor their original contributions to art, literacy, and social issue awareness, the Comic Book Project announced it will honor students in Cleveland and New York with the inaugural “Saving the Day” awards this June. Dark Horse Comics will publish the students’ work this June 2004.
The Comic Book Project, housed by Teachers College at New York’s Columbia University, operates in schools nationwide and is a unique literacy and youth awareness program to help inner-city students, many with limited English proficiency, gain literacy skills through conceptualizing and creating comics. This year, more than 3,000 students at 90 inner-city schools in New York City and Cleveland were involved in a year long project to produce comic books that will reach 30,000 young people.
“By tapping into their own natural interests, students in the Comic Book Project connect creative learning with academic learning and provide valuable and positive information to their peers,” said Dr. Michael Bitz, project founder and director. “Each piece of artwork is a testament to the hard work and learning displayed by all of the students and teachers with whom we were fortunate enough to work this year.”
Over the course of the school year, students developed their own comic books around specific themes that affect their everyday lives, including gang violence, substance abuse, tobacco awareness, cultural tolerance, current events, pollution prevention, energy conservation, and peer relationships. A cadre of well-trained teachers led students through a process of writing, sketching, page mapping, and production. The goal of the project is to help children forge an alternative pathway to literacy through the visual arts.
Funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in partnership with The After-School Corporation, students in the New York City Comic Book Project worked on the topic of environmental awareness. Students in the Cleveland Comic Book Project, funded by the Cleveland Foundation in partnership with the Cleveland Municipal School District, drafted and designed pieces about conflict resolution.
For more information about the Comic Book Project, please visit www.edpath.org.