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Funding Will Support Pilot Program For Denver Inmates

DENVER – JANUARY 3, 2014 – Young adults in the Denver County jail system will have an opportunity to improve their literacy and art skills thanks to $26,000 awarded last week to the Denver-based nonprofit Pop Culture Classroom (PCC).

“At-risk students are a focus of Pop Culture Classroom’s work,” said Illya Kowalchuk, PCC Director of Education. “And there is no one more at-risk than a student who is already in jail.”

PCC’s project in the Denver jail is called LEAD With Comics. LEAD stands for Literacy Education in Adult Detention. Working with a special education teacher from the Denver Public Schools, PCC is developing a six-week course for Denver jail inmates ages 18 to 24 years old. Classes are expected to start in February.

PCC provides comics-based tools and training for educators, including their popular “Storytelling Through Comics” unit that has been taught to hundreds of 5th-7th graders in Colorado. PCC is also the producer of Denver Pop Culture Con, the annual celebration of comics, sci-fi and fantasy that draws thousands to the Colorado Convention Center (May 23-25, 2015).

“There is a strong correlation between improved literacy and reduced recidivism,” said PCC Executive Director Sam Fuqua. “The LEAD project is a creative way to reach struggling readers and help them find a positive way forward.”

Pop Culture Classroom’s LEAD With Comics project was the top winner among six finalists in the Art Tank competition, funded by the Arts Affinity Group, the Denver Foundation, the Bonfils Stanton Foundation and Colorado Creative Industries.

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About Pop Culture Classroom

Pop Culture Classroom (PCC) is a charitable organization that educates through alternative approaches to literacy, learning, and character development. PCC creates programs for students, schools, and communities via comic books, graphic novels, and related pop culture media. PCC is the organizer and producer for the Denver Pop Culture Con.


Media Contact:
Pop Culture Classroom, Press Relations

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