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Superheroes promote literacy

By Derrick Kunz

06/15/2016

SASKATOON — Students at Bishop Klein School in Saskatoon recently designed their own comic books, complete with 3D-printed characters, to promote youth literacy.

Comic-Klein, an event showcasing their work, was held June 2 at the Catholic elementary school.

Special guest Tom Grummett, an artist with DC Comics who has worked on titles such as The New Titans, The Adventures of Superman, Superboy, Power Company, and Robin, was at the event, visiting classrooms, answering questions and showing some of his work.

“I was the kind of kid who would read everything I could get my hands on, and comic books grabbed my attention,” said Grummett. “I’ve been fortunate; I was able to turn my passion for reading into a career. Maybe one of these students will be able to do the same.”

Based on popular Comic-Con events featuring comic book heroes and villains, the school showcase featured the work of students in Grades 5 to 8 who created their own comic books. Using a 3D printer, students brought their characters off the page and, using stop-motion animation, brought them to life in a short movie.

“Superheroes are hugely popular. We thought it would be a great way to pique the interest of our students,” said Kayla Elash, the Grade 7 teacher at Bishop Klein who spearheaded the initiative. “Blockbuster movies, action figures and other merchandise have their roots in comic books, so we went back to those roots to stress the importance of literacy and reading.”

Elash noted that adding modern touches with the 3D-printed characters and stop-motion movie made it interesting and relevant for today’s technologically driven students.

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