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This month we have held fun workshop series exploring new themes and content. We also launched our yearlong Denver Office of Children’s Affairs Out of School Time grant partnerships with Discovery Link at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Early College and at the Colorado I Have a Dream Foundation‘s Westwood location. Here are some highlights from the Outreach Workshops!

By Rachel Brazell, Classroom Outreach Coordinator

Storytelling through Comics: Viking Edition! 

Our Outreach Instructors, Terra Necessary, Midori Proper and Will Whitaker taught 3rd grade students at Ben Franklin Academy in Highlands Ranch how to make one-page comics of their very own all about Vikings—a subject the students had recently explored! 

Photo: Student drawing a comic

Over two days, Pop Culture Classroom served 104 students, and the kids really enjoyed the class both personally and artistically. In their post-workshop surveys, the youth said they learned how talented they were, to believe in themselves, and that it is good to show your feelings.  Through learning how to make comics, students also learned about story arc visual storytelling techniques.  

Photo: Our instructor Terra teaches a class (March 2023)

Students reported that the PCC instructors did a great job explaining what they needed to do and taking their time with the students.

One student, calling herself “Ms. Art Queen” wrote, ”I got to learn how to draw better and how to write a comic so thank you so much! I really like it!”  Another youth mentioned, “I appreciate you for teaching me art,” and a third child claimed, “this was an amazing program, and I had a great experience.”  

Explorations in Art

In addition to teaching the Storytelling through Comics: Vikings! class at Ben Franklin Academy, our Outreach Instructor Will Whitaker also taught “Explorations in Art”, hosted at Denver’s Kepner Beacon Middle School for their 6th and 7th graders on March 14th and 15th, 2023. 

Photo: PCC Outreach Instructor Will works with a student

Will designed the “Exploration in Art” classes based on his past experiences with students at Kepner Beacon and Grant Beacon schools having taught there last year. He wanted to create lessons and activities that would be engaging and inclusive for students who did not have a connection to superheroes or other pop culture references that we tend to use in our outreach workshops. The activities he designed helped cultivate student creativity and curiosity, and fostered community building through collaborative art-creation activities.  

Photo: a Pop Culture Classroom workshop (March, 2023)

During the Kepner Beacon Exploration in Art sessions, 6th graders discussed the things they were passionate about, and they used those passions to design t-shirts that celebrated their fandoms (a word some of them were unfamiliar with before the class).

The 7th graders described what they wanted for their future careers and goals in life, and then designed their own logos for the t-shirts and other merchandise they would create for their future brands.  

Photo: a student t-shirt design

Support Our Work!

To fund this year’s efforts, Pop Culture Classroom must raise around $30,000 from caring individuals like you. You can help!

Support arts and education for students in Colorado and beyond with your tax-deductible donation. 

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