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ERIC Number: EJ1068659
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
So You Want to Be a Superhero? How the Art of Making Comics in an Afterschool Setting Can Develop Young People's Creativity, Literacy, and Identity
Khurana, Sarita
Afterschool Matters, n4 p1-9 Spr 2005
Comic art is one of the most popular storytelling media around the globe. From classic American comic strips to Japanese Manga, comics cover subjects ranging from humorous teen angst to social commentary. Comics class in an afterschool program is a natural draw for many young people. Older youth, in particular, vote with their feet when it comes to regular participation in afterschool programs. Many afterschool programs have naturally chosen to align themselves with youth culture, promoting activities to which young people are drawn, such as hip-hop dance, photography, fashion club, and soccer. To that list we can add comics. Sarita Khurana is the director of Community Schools and Youth Services for the Educational Alliance. She describes her research for this article, which took place at School of the Future, a public middle and high school in Manhattan where the Educational Alliance serves children and families in a number of capacities including afterschool programs. As an observer, she attended a comics class every Wednesday afternoon for three hours during 12 weeks. She participated in several exercises during class time, and spoke with students individually and in groups. Khurana discovered that comic book reading can serve as one of many possible points of entry into literacy. She found that engaging young people in comic production is a clever way to help them work on language arts skills. A look at the four New York State English language arts standards reveals how comics can enhance literacy instruction: Standard 1: Students will read, write, listen and speak for information and understanding. Standard 2: Students will read, write, listen and speak for literary response and expression. Standard 3: Students will read, write, listen and speak for critical analysis and evaluation. Standard 4: Students will read, write, listen and speak for social interaction. (New York State English Language Learning Standards, 2004). The comics class turned out to be a fun and engaging way for students in the afterschool program, and provided a semester of learning, supporting literacy skills, and exploring new worlds.
National Institute on Out-of-School Time. Wellesley Centers for Women, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481. Tel: 781-283-2547; Fax: 781-283-3657; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A