Pop Culture Classroom is excited to announce that our partner Sterling Correctional Facilities (SCF) has been awarded The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grant from the American Library Association (ALA).
This grant provides support to a library that would like to expand its existing graphic novel services and programs.
ADVANCING PCC’S LEAD WITH COMICS
SCF is one of the sites of PCC’s program LEAD With Comics, and this grant will allow a new teacher to travel to Sterling, Colorado, to enrich the curriculum as well as fund the expansion of their graphic novel library.
Thanks to this grant and the hard work of the librarians at SCF, the growth of LEAD will encourage literacy and reduce recidivism.
LEAD (Literacy Education in Adult Detention) With Comics is PCC’s ongoing project in jail systems and detention centers across Colorado.
Working with specially trained teachers from local nonprofits and Denver Public Schools, this course aims to improve their art and literacy skills. We believe anyone’s life can be transformed by the educational power of pop culture.
BENEFITING STERLING CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES
Erin Boyle is the former SCF Library Manager and currently works as a regional librarian for the Colorado State Library.
She commented, “The SCF Libraries are always looking for ways to provide public-library quality programs to their patrons. Library staff there are extremely hard-working, and usually have to cope with limited time and resources.”
Because of the remote location of SCF, the grant will help them to overcome the restricted opportunities they face and expand the partnerships they have built, including the partnership with PCC.
ADVANCING LITERACY, REDUCING RECIDIVISM
After a LEAD class at SCF, an offender wrote “This class help[s] men with the stress of prison. By drawing reading, etc. The mind is free to give a man some happiness.”
Another wrote “I feel I can draw a little but don’t have enough confidence. I feel I have improved because of this class.” The LEAD project is a creative way to reach struggling readers and help them find a positive way forward.
On LEAD, Boyle said, “When I taught the program along with teacher Renae Kubitz and library tech Brett Hodgins, we saw the interest and talent that our students brought to the table. It was always fun to talk to students and get their unique perspectives on the graphic novels we read. In particular, when artist Dion Harris came to talk about perspective or anatomy, the room would get so quiet you could hear a pin drop. I’ve never seen such avid interest.”
MOVING FORWARD WITH THE LEAD PROGRAM
Illya Kowalchuk, Director of Education at PCC said, “We are thrilled that the Will Eisner Foundation awarded SCF one of their grants to support the class and our partnership. Winning this grant will provide even more resources to the students at SCF. All of us at PCC look forward to continuing LEAD With Comics at Sterling Correctional Facility.”
Read more about our LEAD Program at SCF here.
ABOUT THE WILL AND ANN EISNER FAMILY FOUNDATION
The Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation fosters innovation and creativity in graphic literature, sequential art and comics. It encourages others to continue and build upon the legacy of Will Eisner, who broke new ground in the development of visual narrative and the language of comics. Will Eisner is best known for being the creator of The Spirit comic, for developing comics for education and training, and for writing the first modern graphic novel. For more information about Will Eisner visit www.willeisner.com.
ABOUT THE ALA
Established in 1876, the American Library Association is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization created to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all. More information on the grant and the application process can be found at http://www.ala.org/gamert/will-eisner-graphic-novel-grants-libraries.