Tuesday, November 24, 2009


By Chris Wilson

On Monday we challenged the fourth grade super heroes in THE HALL OF HEROES comic book club to think about what it means to be a super hero. We discussed the current American economic downturn and how it affects the kids and families in Nixa, MO and the greater Ozarks region. Students in Nixa, Ozark, Springfield, and other surrounding school districts have an increase in homeless students. There are families who go to school and work hungry. It is a serious situation, one that requires the assistance of an entire community.

Presented with this problem, the students came up with a list of ideas on ways they could address the issue. Short of having a bake sale, car wash or drink stand to raise money they decided to work on donations. Over the next couple of weeks the students will gather

  • New toys
  • Gently used toys in excellent condition
  • New and gently used clothing for kids
  • Coats for kids and adults
  • Clean blankets
  • Canned goods
  • Boxed goods
  • Books
  • Comics

The coolest idea came from a couple of students working off each one another. The students will create their own comics. They can work in teams or alone; it is their choice. They can use lined unlined paper, but the art must be black and white only.

We will then put them all together and copy them, making our own make-shift book. The students want to give away their handmade comics to kids in need. I think it's brilliant. Someone will know that kids cared enough to make them a gift – something the students really cared about and thought through.

Perhaps we can get a printing company to help us bind/copy the comics? I'm hoping the local chamber of commerce can assist us.

Two important concepts are at work here:
  • Students are connecting their love of comics with the real world, chosing to become super heroes in their own communities and understanding the motivation driving the characters they read about. 
  • Students see comics as a legitimate source of Christmas cheer. That is to say, the students value comics so much, they feel comics (handmade or commercially printed) are a valuable Christmas gift. 

Comics, dear readers, are literature. Ask any of the students in the HALL OF HEROES.  These students are taking their love of literature to higher levels.

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